Oman traffic jam Mary Betz, Baltimore My...

MY BEST SHOT

February 27, 2000

MY BEST SHOT

Oman traffic jam

Mary Betz, Baltimore

My husband and I took an "Arabian Nights" cruise from Piraeus, Greece, to Bombay, India. One of our stops was in Oman. The roads are very modern, so you can imagine our surprise when our excursion was interrupted by a herd of hundreds of camels. In Oman, wealth is determined by the number of camels you own, so you know the owner of these camels was a very wealthy man indeed.

A MEMORABLE PLACE

Bravery on a French beach

Charles J. Bury Jr.

SPECIAL TO THE SUN

It was cold and wet. The wind was blowing hard, sending chills down my spine as I looked out over the beach. At 5:30 in the morning, I couldn't see much, but I could hear the waves crashing along the shoreline. The weather was terrible, but I would not have wanted to be anywhere else. Ever since I was a young boy, I wanted to stand on this beach, one that I've only read about or watched in movies.

As the sun started to rise, the beach slowly came into view. It seemed as if the sand stretched forever toward the sea. My thoughts turned to a time long ago. I could see the cliffs now, and along the cliffs I could see the bunkers. I thought about the thousands of soldiers who landed here, afraid, not knowing if they would see another day. The sounds of the waves faded into machine-gun fire, explosions and cries for help as I tried to picture in my mind what it looked like June 6, 1944.

It was here, on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, that American soldiers, including those from Maryland's 29th Infantry Division, stormed ashore to save the world. As I thought about the carnage that took place here, my emotions took over. I couldn't believe that I was standing on such sacred, hallowed ground. I said a prayer and thanked God for the brave soldiers who gave me my freedom.

Charles J. Bury Jr. lives in Baltimore.

READERS RECOMMEND...

Colorado

Louise K. Smith, Havre de Grace

"It's hard to believe that ancestral Pueblo people not only built cliff dwellings like these in Mesa Verde National Park, Colo., with implements like stone axes, but built them so well that they are still intact 800 years later."

Cayman Islands

Charles W. Crocken, Bel Air

"My wife and I took a Caribbean cruise and visited Grand Cayman Island. At a place called 'Stingray City,' we anchored a glass-bottomed boat and watched the huge rays. Some tourists went in the water and began to pet the rays, who swam among the bathers, snuggling up to them and having their backs stroked."

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