This January I made a big change: I left sunny (and financially ruined) Greece to live in the U.K., specifically, the city of Cambridge.

The city is beautiful and very different to what I’ve been use to. Nature surrounds you here: ten minutes outside of the city center and you see foxes and deer. In the city center proper, the occasional squirrel is present. Ravens, magpies, mallards, blackbirds and swans are your constant companions during walks in the city’s beautiful parks and on the banks of the river Cam traversing the city.

To a history nut though like me, the largest attraction is the city’s past: to say Cambridge has a rich history would be an understatement. From the University that operates continuously for more than eight hundred years, to thousand-year-old Norman churches and villages with Latin names put on the map since antiquity and the Roman conquest of Albion.

Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking, Lord Tennyson and Charles Darwin are only a few of the people who lived here. One can only wonder while walking the cobbled streets if, unbeknownst to you, you happen to be walking the same paths as they had.

Besides the academic and cultural history, there is a colorful and celebrated military history, which is memorialized along with the city’s civic accomplishments — which you are here to read about, no doubt.

Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
A reminder that not all families found closure.

The Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial is the last resting place of some of the brave men and women that crossed the Atlantic to fight the Nazi war machine during WWII. Within its 30 acres are the graves of 3,809 Americans that died in WWII; engraved on a limestone wall on one side of the cemetery are the names of 5,126 more — missing in action, lost or buried at sea, or unknowns whose remains could not be identified. Among them is the Medal of Honor recipient Leon Robert “Bob” Vance Jr. and the musician Glenn Miller, both of whom were lost at sea.

The chapel is both beautiful and reverential. On the chapel’s stained glass are the seals of every state in the U.S., reminding the visitor where those they came to honor came from.

My visit there was emotional — consciously, you may understand in an abstract way what it took to bring Nazi Germany down. Being there, however, the magnitude of the sacrifice made by these people hits you right in the face and you stand in awe at the immensity of that sacrifice.