Thursday, June 10, 2010


I originally had a private guide arranged for today, but his father became ill and he had to go home to England. We were able to get on the ship’s tour, which was quite expensive, but turned out to be very good.

Our friends, Carol and Jeff, and Wendy and Steve, went also, so we rode on the same bus (there were only two buses from the ship). The day started out cloudy, and as we left the port the heavens opened and it started pouring rain. The drive to Normandy took two hours so we held out hope the rain would stop.

By the time we arrived at the first stop, Juno Beach, where the Canadians landed, the rain had stopped. As you stand on the beach your mind can’t even begin to comprehend the horrors that occurred here. The thing that always strikes my heart strings is knowing how young most of the soldiers were on both sides. So much suffering and heartache and grief.

When we arrived at the city of Arromanche the clouds were breaking up and there was a little bit of blue sky and sunshine. It was here British soldiers built a portable harbor in order to deliver equipment and supplies to the soldiers who captured the beaches. I went into the museum and watched the film about it while Jim wandered around with his camera. It was quite an undertaking.

Because it was D-Day today there were small ceremonies going on, and a lot of vintage vehicles and people dressed up in uniforms.

There were even a few veterans.

Lunch was at an old farmhouse that has been converted to an inn and restaurant. It was beautiful. They served us a warm egg and cheese appetizer, chicken and gravy with bacon wrapped beans and potatoes, and a yummy cake for dessert.

Jim spent espresso time walking around talking pictures in the nearby village.

The American cemetery was a very sobering and solemn place. The crosses are lined up perfectly with a few Star of Davids interspersed among them. Our guide told us they didn’t put very many Jewish soldiers in the European sector because of the prevailing attitudes.

Omaha Beach is a large beach where the Americans landed.

From it you can see Point du Hoc, a large cliff scaled by storm troopers.

The last stop was the top of Point du Hoc.

As we walked out to it we began to see the remains of bomb/shell craters. Once we reached the point it was amazing to see a landscape that looked like Swiss cheese, the result of the craters that remain to this day. Interspersed among them are the remains of many bombed out German bunkers. Again, it was hard to imagine the fear and terror that once existed here among the young soldiers who were only doing what they thought was right.

I sat in one of the craters just to get a perspective of how large they are.

The bus trip back to the ship once again took us through the French countryside, but without the rain. It truly was beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. I would have spent the entire day in tears. It makes me cry just to look at your pictures.