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Europe 2017

A Solemn Day

USA | Friday, 1 July 2016 | Views [211]

You just can't be in Normandy and not visit the beaches that bear witness to the remarkable courage of the allied troops fighting against Nazism.

We started our journey where the Canadians landed at Sword Beach and slowly we made our way up the coast to the American Cemetery. And then finally we went on to Pointe du Hoc where the American Rangers scaled a 90 ft. cliff to take an important German position and aid our troops fighting at Utah and Omaha beaches.

The Cemetery grounds now have an expanded museum. One of the features in the museum is a very poignant 20 minute film about the lives of four American soldiers from different walks of life who are buried in the Cemetery. The film personalizes these sacred 170 acres. Each marker represents a person with a heartwarming story that ended in death. There are close to 10,000 graves; it is overwhelming.

I couldn't help thinking about WWII and what we were fighting for and how war has changed over the years as well as the enemies we face today... The bombs have left craters that remain today. In fact, visitors are warned to stay on the paths for their own safety.

We were here at the landing beaches over ten years ago and it was as if you were transported back in time and you could easily picture the fighting taking place around every turn. There are still places like this along the beaches but they are far fewer. Also, we were surprised at how much commerce and new construction there is. Furthermore, all most every town now has its own museum.

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American Cemetery

American Cemetery

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