Late thoughts on Memorial Day in America
Cheesefoot Head, visible from the A272 (South Downs Way). There are three bowl barrows on the site so it has been of interest to men of Britain since ancient times. Image: David Packman, Hampshire Cam
On this warm and sunny day in Hampshire, England, I am reminded of Cheesefoot Head, a large natural amphitheatre just outside Winchester, where Allied Commander-in-Chief General Dwight D Eisenhower addressed American troops prior to D-Day on June 6, 1944.
Hampshire [had become] a vast armed camp, full of allied troops encamped in the towns, villages and the forests of the county. Winchester's newly built bypass was requisitioned and became a giant tank park and camp for British and American troops, even Peninsula Barracks in the city was taken over by the 9th US Infantry Division. It was here that American troops were reviewed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower.
Americans had come from across the sea to fight side by side with the people of Britain against the Nazis. Americans have held a warm affection for the people of Britain ever since.
Those who died are among those remembered and honoured this long Memorial Day weekend in America.