Greater love hath no man than this…

During my tour of the battle sites around Normandy, France, I had the honor of visiting this beautiful 11th century Norman Church, in the village of Angoville.  My tour guide, one of the fine folks of Overlord Tours, told an amazing tale about the church’s WW II history.  During the D-Day invasion, the commanding officer of the 2/501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) sent a Lieutenant, together with two medics, Privates Kenneth Moore and Robert Wright, to set up an aid station in this very church.  For three long days, fighting raged in and around Angoville, with most of the wounded, from both sides, being treated by the two Privates.  Three times, the church changed hands, but the Privates continued treating the wounded.  The first time the Germans recaptured Angoville they stormed the church.  Upon entering and finding American medics treating both Germans and Americans wounded in battle, the German commander ordered that the church and its occupants be left alone.  The Germans never entered the church again.

According to a brochure I found in the church, the church stands today as a “symbol of man’s humanity in the midst of man’s greatest horrors -war.  Eight men and one child found refuge in this church during those tumultuous days, and evidence of their suffering is still present today in the blood stained pews and bullet marks about the church.  After sixty years, the church remains virtually unchanged .”

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show hide 10 comments

April 9, 2011 - 13:22

Barbara Youngleson Jacque,you’ve captured the tenderness & strength of humanity in this image. The praying angels framed by the stained glass windows tell your story.

April 9, 2011 - 13:22

Jim Denham Fantastic story and image Jacques. We would be hard pressed to find that same humanity these days and in modern war.

April 9, 2011 - 13:31

Gerry Chaney Theres a nice sense of peace and tranquility captured here in contrast to what went on all those years ago.

April 9, 2011 - 13:43

Mike Criswell Great story and shot Jacques

April 9, 2011 - 16:06

Chris Nitz Great post Jacques. This has to be one of the most moving series I have enjoyed, you have really captured a great look and feel to these shot man.

April 9, 2011 - 17:54

Hector Garza Great post Jacques.
One of the best things about photography is that you get to know and learn about stories like this one… Stories like this aren’t written on books.

April 9, 2011 - 18:34

steve What a humbling feeling to breath the same air that has experienced such a history. A story for the grand-kids, Jacques…:-)

April 9, 2011 - 19:34

Jacques Thanks to all of you for taking the time to enjoy this with me. I sure was happy to get the chance to be there, especially given the amazing history of that church, not to mention all of Normandy.

April 9, 2011 - 19:54

Bob Lussier This post gave me chills.

Thank you.

April 10, 2011 - 22:10

Mark Blundell great image and awesome humanitarian story to go with it. I wonder what happened to the two privates that worked so hard for all there.

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