June 6, 1944

D-Day. The day the Allies stormed the beaches of Normandy, France.

Normandy Invasion Beaches. Image from France-for-Visitors.com

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.

Graffiti at Juno Beach

Horseback riders along the sand. Fishermen in the background.

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.

Mulberries for an artificial harbor near Arromanches

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?

Gold Beach, Normandy

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.

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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