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Visit World War II sites on trip to France|

Senior Beat
by Carol Higgins Taylor
Eastern Area Agency on Aging

Almost every senior has a World War II story. My own mother remembers hiding under the kitchen table as a child, blacking out windows in her Hancock County home and, of course, coping with rations on fuel and food.

It has 70 years since the war and a very special trip is being planned by Collette Vacations to commemorate the occasion: Memorials of War: Normandy and Paris, Oct. 9-Oct. 18, 2014.

Eastern Area Agency on Aging is holding an entertaining and informative talk about this historic tour, at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, in the agency offices at 450 Essex St., Bangor. This presentation is sure to revive some memories of a critical time in American history. There is absolutely no obligation to those attending this slide show and everyone is welcome.

Straight from Collette Vacations website, here is very brief overview of this trip of a lifetime that begins Oct. 9, 2014, with an overnight flight to the Paris, the City of Lights.

The Paris tour will highlight life during the German occupation and through the Liberation. You will visit the small commemoration garden close to the Bir Hakeim Bridge, where on July 16, 1942, more than 11,000 Jews were arrested and confined to Velodrome d’Hiver before deportation during what became known as the Vel d’Hiv roundup.

You’ll visit the Pointe Du Hoc Ranger Memorial to see where the valiant men of the 2nd Ranger Battalion put success above all else and scaled 100-foot cliffs on D-Day morning to seize the fortified enemy position and take control of the landing approaches to Omaha and Utah beaches in what General Eisenhower called the “Great Crusade.”

The tour will take you to Omaha Beach, Omaha Memorial Museum, the U.S. Military Cemetery and Utah, the westernmost of the Allied landing beaches. Then it’s off to St. Mere Eglise, made famous by paratrooper John Steel and the film “The Longest Day.” You’ll also visit Pegasus Bridge, which was captured by the heroic British 6th Airborne Division in the opening hours of the invasion.

You’ll see the medieval town of Chartres for a guided tour of its breathtaking cathedral, which was spared during the war by an American officer who questioned the need to destroy it. You’ll also explore one of the most beautiful abbeys in France which dates back to the 11th century.

For those who wish to take this journey, there are special transportation accommodations. Travelers may park their cars at Eastern Agency on Aging’s parking lot and take a chartered bus to Logan airport in Boston. No more worrying about getting a ride or where to park the car. It will be safe and sound right here plus you will be riding with your traveling companions.

“Partnering with Collette Tours is always beneficial to Eastern Area Agency on Aging and being able to bring this unique opportunity to the community is important to us,” said Noelle Merrill, executive director at EAAA. “These trips are well planned, enjoyable and foster a real camaraderie among the travelers. Friendships are made. Everything is taken care of and the price, which includes one or two meals a day, is reasonable. And for every booking through EAAA Collette donates a percentage back to the agency. We are very grateful for that.”

Join us at EAAA on Sept. 18, 2013 to experience the presentation that will take you back 70 years to remember what many call “The Big One” when referring to wars. For information, visit collettevacations.com

Please RSVP to 941-2865 by Tuesday, Sept. 17, to ensure we have enough refreshments. Attend to learn about the trip or just watch the presentation and reminisce.

Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. For information on EAAA, call 941-2865, toll-free 800-432-7812, or visit eaaa.org

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