JUNE 24, 1950
LUXEMBOURG, Friday—Thursday morning Mrs. Mesta planned an early start for us, and as the day progressed I realised how wise she had been!
First, we went to the American military cemetery at Hamm where, as we stood at General Patton's grave, Elliot and the two grandchildren laid a spray of flowers in memory of the brave leader. His cross now stands looking over the rows of almost 5,000 crosses placed here, in memory of the men he led in battle.
May we, who are still alive, hope that each one of us will play our part in creating a peaceful world, as well as they did theirs. May we always remember these valiant men, and the price they had to pay to win the war.
The cemetery is in a beautiful spot, the rolling country and the surrounding woods make it peaceful and quiet. And the little crosses stand, side by side, in simple but sombre dignity. It was a most moving experience.
We then looked at the plans for the little chapel and the colonnade which are to be built at Hamm and at the marble cross which will, before long, replace all the wooden crosses.
One is very conscious of what Nazi occupation meant to these people, and how strongly they fought against it, in spite of the overwhelming odds against them. They are grateful to all those who liberated them and they never fail to show their appreciation in the welcome they give to all Americans, and by the stories they tell about the troops that fought on their territory.
We drove out, through the beautiful country, to the old ruins of the castle of Vianden, which is now owned by the Grand Duchess. The old part of the castle was probably built in the Fourth Century while some archways and pedestals are work of the Eleventh and Thirteenth Centuries. One of the old halls is almost intact. This is believed to have been used as a dining hall by the knights. The Mayor, councilmen and children greeted us here. There were speeches of welcome, and lovely red roses, which are the flowers of Luxembourg, were in evidence everywhere.
From there we drove through ever changing but continuously lovely country, to Clervaux, which is the castle lived in at one time by the de Lanneis. Here again the Mayor and the councilmen greeted us and there were more speeches of welcome, and the national anthems were played. We visited the ruins, and went to a restored Benedictine abbey nearby, and then to what is now the Park Hotel but which was once the new castle of the de Lanneis family.
Everywhere we went I found that Mrs. Mesta is already known. She has visited all the institutions, hospitals, homes, sanitariums, etc. She has been down in the mines. She goes out and talks to people on the farms and everywhere she is greeted as a friend and complimented on the way she has won the hearts of the people since her arrival.
I am happy to say that in all the countries I have visited on this trip I have felt that our representatives are doing a good job. It makes one feel proud to have the United States represented by people who are developing such friendly feelings and good relationships.