20140605_152419What do a 16th Century castle and a 20th Century War Museum have in common? In both of these French locations, WWI- The Great War, was a catalyst for drastic changes in the economies and political beliefs of countries with power.

Although Chateaux Chenonceau on the River Cher was built to house the king and queen of France, it was converted into a hospital from 1914-1918. The owner, Simone Menier, transformed every room into a treatment center at her family’s expense and tended over 2000 wounded. From 1939-1945, she also¬†courageously carried out numerous acts of resistance, helping refugees escape while German guns were aimed at her castle.

The Museum for Peace in Caen, France is a vivid reminder of the economic and political factors which stemmed from WWI and led to WWII. Seventy years ago, on June 6, 1944, eight thousand Allied troops swarmed Normandy by boat, parachute and plane. The Germans were heavily fortified. Two thousand American soldiers died in the four-day battle.

These historical sites remind us that heroes are real people in extraordinary circumstaces.

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