We will be wrapping up our time here in Paris tomorrow morning and I felt it was a good time to reflect on what we have done and seen here.
For me, the most touching experience was our visit to the Katherine Baker memorial at the Henri Rollet Association. I was personally responsible for researching Ms. Baker and have become quite attached to her and her story. I feel like I have gotten to know her somewhat through the many letters, newspaper articles, and even mentions in books that I have read. Her friends and family clearly thought highly of her, and I share that sentiment.
Katherine Baker was a suffragette, an educational reformer, a trail blazer for women in law, a corporal, and a heroic nurse. The more I researched her, the more I began to respect and admire everything she did. I can’t help but feel like the Henri Rollet Association was the perfect place for her memorial because both the organization and Ms. Baker herself are/were deeply concerned with helping those who cannot necessarily help themselves. Finally seeing the place that keeps her memory was a moving and somewhat reassuring time for me because I now know that she is being honored the way she deserves.
We saw many of the main sites in Paris including the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Versailles, the Centre Pompidou, and the Louvre. Seeing all of these beautiful and historically rich places was amazing, but I think it will also serve as a fitting contrast to the battlefields we will soon be visiting. While Paris has a certain gaiety to it, our next stops will be more solemn and serious. When we wake up tomorrow and drive to Sainte Menehould, we will be leaving the whimsical nature of this city behind, ready to put ourselves in the shoes of those we have spent so much time researching.