Sunday, November 11


As I posted several years ago, I took the opportunity to go on a tour of the Normandy Beaches in northern France while I was living in London.  As November 11 is commemorated today, here are a few more pictures and stories of this experience.

This shadowed plaque reminds the reader that it took several years for the D-Day plan to come to fruition.  The amount of tanks, guns, vehicles, food and people that had to be amassed in order to cross the English channel to create an artificial port in order to defeat the Nazis is incredible.

Fifty years later the pieces of the port still rest in the sand, slowly being eroded or encrusted with ocean creatures.

An encrusted container on the beach with more of the port structures behind out in the ocean.  The sea claiming what used to be claimed by people.

Arromanches-les-Bains the heart of the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944.

Pointe du Hoc at which soldiers who landed did not find a beach to run across as they dodged bullets and grenades, but who found rock cliffs they were required to climb as they were shot at and bombed.  Such an incredible series of tasks in order to defeat the occupiers.  

Another portion of the Point du Hoc cliffs ready to be climbed by the soldiers.  

A sculpture called Les Braves, which was erected on Omaha Beach near St. Laurent sur Mer.

Moving to the US Cemetery in St. Laurent it is a peaceful place replete with memorials, reminders, crosses, starts and many art pieces reminding the visitor how many Americans died as the country joined in the final chapter of World War II.  This also reminded me how many more people had died from countries who had participated in the war since its beginning.  

The names of those who lost their lives during World War II.

 A water sculpture with a submerged map of the Normandy Beaches connected to a flat, extended pool of water that reaches out, visually, into the ocean from which the soldiers appeared.

A single cross in the US Cemetery.  Note the lack of a name.  A reminder of so many of the unknown soldiers, those who died but who were never identified.

Leaving a rock on a Jewish grave.  Symbolic of remembrance, God as the rock of Israel, acknowledge recent visitors, and adding their piece of rock to the ancient mound of a grave.

A copy of an old picture in one of the Normandy museums.  I love this picture as it juxtaposes the old with the young, the daily tasks of life with the task of unique events, the lack of acknowledgement by each of the main characters toward each other....just doing what needed to be done for survival.  Side by side.

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