Connecting with U.S. history in Europe has been one of the best parts of living in Paris. On our trip to Mainz, Germany, my husband, who is a retired fighter pilot, brought up the phrase, "Save one for Mainz." I had never heard the phrase. Here's the story behind the saying.
After D-Day, the U.S. and Britain started day-and-night bombing raids on the manufacturing centers in Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Stuttgart and Mainz. An American fighter plane was shot down while flying over Mainz and the body of the pilot was dragged through the city and hung up in public where the locals abused him. It was caught on film and exposed in the international press. As a result, whenever American bombers flew missions over the area, they saved one bomb to drop on Mainz at the end of their missions.
Most of Mainz was destroyed during the war but the Mainz Cathedral was spared. Construction of the cathedral dates back to 934 though it has burned down several times and been rebuilt repeatedly...sometimes just to change the style to a more updated look. As a result the church now looks like a mix of many time periods. We were very fortunate to be part of a private tour at night of the cathedral. We did it in the dark so there isn't much to show you. Here's a quick look at our tour.