I met Dolly in September 2023 on the Viking Kari sailing from Paris to Normandy. She was onboard with many of her family members. She is 93 years old and had never travelled to Europe before. Her brother was wounded during the landing on Omaha Beach June 6, 1944. He died in a hospital in England. Dolly came to pay homage to him because he had left everything to her so that she could survive. When I saw a picture of Dolly’s brother on the phone of her son, I asked him to send it to me and then went off in Rouen to have it printed and framed. When we were visiting the Normandy American Cemetery for their appointment at her brother’s grave, I gave Dolly the framed photograph. Later they met us for the ceremony, and Dolly helped to lay down a wreath.
Dolly also asked me to walk down to Omaha Beach with her and her son. We went all the way to the sea. She wanted to touch the water and found a mussel shell to keep as a souvenir. On the way back, I tried to take her hand, but this was impossible because she was afraid to lose the shell and holding it tightly. So instead, I put my arm in hers. Only when she was back in the coach, did she open her fist and put the new treasure carefully into a little compartment in her purse.
The background shows the two rainbows we saw upon arrival back to the ship.