This morning, after getting Heather’s bike fixed up so it was a little more rideable, we took a short trip to the American Cemetery in Madingley, a cemetery devoted largely to airmen from the Eighth Air Force and sailors who served in the Battle of the Atlantic. I’d read a little about the cemetery, and one of my grandparents had served in the Eighth Air Force, and it seemed like an appropriate destination for a Sunday.
bicycling, via flickr
Following a path from Cambridge to the cemetery described by a local cycling blogger, we cycled through town, past the science center, and to the village of Coton. (There was an excellent thatched house there.)
thatched cottage, via flickr
From there we turned north, and about a mile later were at the cemetery.
entrance to the cemetery, via flickr
It’s quite a remarkable place. The 3,800 graves are laid out in a series of arcs, and to one side is a reflecting pool and a memorial wall with another 5,000 names of servicemen whose remains were never recovered (two dozen were later found). One of the names is bandleader Glenn Miller.
american cemetery, via flickr
There’s a chapel that’s an interesting mix of religious and grand strategy: one wall has a vast map of the European air war, with Cambridge at the center of American bombing operations, and the ceiling has a huge mosaic. It speaks of a level of absolute certainty that seems admirable– and increasingly, an artifact of an earlier age. (Many more pictures of the cemetery are on Flickr.)
air war map, via flickr
It’s a beautiful, sombre place. Well worth visiting.
chapel mosaic, via flickr
After that we bicycled back to Cambridge, went to Waterstones Books, and spent the next couple hours reading.
reading at waterstones, via flickr
This being Sunday, we then came home for dinner. The whole town seems to kind of shut down after 5 on Sundary, and besides, we had plenty to do at home.