Monday, May 6, 2013

The Woods of Foy


Easy Company battled through part of the last winter of WWII in the woods above Foy. If you are a history buff or watched the HBO series Band of Brothers, you know exactly what I'm talking about. When Anna and Rich came to visit us two weekends ago, we ventured to this part of Belgium to see these sites.

 You can still see some of the bullet holes in the wall of this house.

It was one of the more amazing things we've done since being in Europe. And I don't say amazing in the same sense that most Americans (including me, guilty) do on a regular basis. I was truly stopped-in-my-tracks-amazed at what those men endured on behalf of the free world and our country. The day we went was a chilly one though the sun shone through on occasion. It made it a little easier to imagine being there in the dead of winter, snow falling along with the exploding shells. Some of the fox holes dug then were still there today and we came upon them in silence.

The company spent Christmas among these trees, a Christmas tree was placed for them here forever.

After we returned home that evening we watched the first episode all together and Chris and I kept going with the series over the last two weeks. After the Bastogne/Foy episodes I had to stop watching. It was too real. At Pearl Harbour that same feeling came over me and I couldn't find words for awhile. Both of my Grandpas served in WWII. I can't help but think of them both whenever I remember this place. 

If you're coming across the sea to visit Europe at some point in your life, I would definitely suggest a small trip along the way to remember what our troops did in the name of freedom. If not Bastogne, this continent is full of places where they made an impact, I'm sure there's somewhere nearby. Somewhere to say "Thank you."





2 comments:

  1. My fathers cousin Father John Maloney (my namesake)was the regimental chaplain with the 506th, 101st Airborne Division. Father Maloney parachuted into occupied France on June 6, 1944. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in action. His citation reads as follows:

    Captain Maloney, completely disregarding his own personal safety, assisted medical-aid men in administering first aid to the wounded in intense enemy machine gun fire. He further assisted in their evacuation under continuous mortar fire. Captain Maloney's fortitude, initiative and courage reflects great credit to himself and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.

    Chris must have told you this. See episode 3 "Band of Brothers". Father Maloney eventually made the rank of Lt. Col.

    Thanks for the photos.

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    Replies
    1. This is an awesome quote:

      “It had been a fast and furious attack. At the end, amid moans of wounded soldiers and occasional shots, I heard the oddest thing: ’ Hail Mary, mother of Jesus, full of grace…’ Over and over. Not the panicked voice of a wounded soldier, but the stoic, almost calm voice of someone else. ‘Hail Mary, mother of Jesus, full of grace…’ I glanced up and there was Father John Maloney, holding a small cross in his hands and walking down the center of the road, administering last rites to our dying. Never seen anything like it, a priest administering last rites with bullets bouncing around his feet. Takes a hell of a lot of conviction, and faith, for a man to do that. Later, he’d be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his courage under fire."

      -Donald Malarky, Easy Company Soldier.

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