Crosses are seen at the cemetery outside the WWI Douaumont ossuary near Verdun, northeastern France. The cemetery is the largest single French military cemetery of World War One, with more than 16,142 graves.

I do not know how or why my Grandfather survived his participation in this war, and I do not know if he returned damaged. He was impossible to know, and it did not seem as if he had a self. I don’t remember a single conversation with him, despite spending weeks if not months in his company. I don’t know if he liked books, or had a favorite movie, or smoked. I don’t know his favorite wine. I don’t know if he could dance. The only thing I know is that he liked young women, though thank merciful God, I was spared his attentions.


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