D-Day. The day the Allies stormed the beaches of Normandy, France.
We traveled to France a couple of years ago. We had a convoluted trip, but when we finally reached the beaches, I was surprised. There were long stretches of beach, but little to no sign of a battle ever have been fought there. Kids playing on the beach, horse back riders, and fisherman in the water. Beachfront property. Graffiti on the retaining wall. Remnants of piers, but not from WWII.
We visited Sword, Juno and Gold Beaches. The pictures above were taken at Juno Beach, where the Canadians landed during the invasion. Had we planned our trip a little better, we would have made it to the American beaches, Omaha and Utah, before sunset.
Gold beaches were very sobering. There are remnants there of the Nazi fortifications and Mulberries in the ocean. A Mulberry is an artificial harbor built for the invasion.
The beaches run into cliffs that the soldiers had to climb in order to breach the Nazi fortifications. Gold Beach was part of the British invasion. Can you imagine what it must have been like to try to climb those hills with bullets and bombs raining down upon you?
The terrain was progressively worse along the coastline to the west. I can only imagine what Omaha and Utah must have been like, although I’ve been told that Saving Private Ryan is a good description.
Today marks another historic day in World War II history. The Normandy beaches are really a humbling place to visit. It’s another reminder of the price of freedom.
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