The Beaches of Normandy, France (July 2005)
In June 1944, this is where the Allied Forces came ashore to help restore freedom to
Western Europe. It was hard to imagine this beautiful and peaceful place sixty-one
years ago when it was the scene of such intense violence. We found our visit to
Normandy to be a moving experience as well as a history lesson.
Arriving at Juno Beach, this was our first glimpse of Normandy's shoreline.
Arromanches was the sight of a gigantic artificial harbor built by the Allied troops.
It was made up of a break-water, 4-miles long, made of 24 block ships and 55 huge
concrete "mulberries." Between the 6th of June and the end of September 1944,
600,000 men, 1.2 million tons of supplies and ammunition, 75,000 vehicles and 60,000
tons of fuel were unloaded here.
This diagram shows the different points of attack by the Allied troops.
While at Pointe du Hoc, we walked through the German fortifications and shelters
that were stormed on the morning of June 6, 1944.
Holes dug in the ground where soldiers took shelter during combat.
We were able to walk through some of the remains such as this one.
This striking statue greets you at the entrance to the American Cemetery.
As you look up inside the chapel, you see this moving mosaic on the ceiling.
The American Cemetery overlooks Omaha beach, with 9,387 white marble monuments
representing the US soldiers who gave their lives for freedom and humanity. It is one
of several cemeteries in the area memorializing the lives lost during World War II.
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All pictures © Destin Bradwell 2005