Powerful Normandy

by Don McCann

My recent cruise on Avalon Waterways’ Tapestry II on the Seine River included a full day in Normandy.  I’ve never been a ‘war buff’, but I knew a little about it, so I was glad that the cruise line had a guest speaker who gave us an overview the night before we arrived.  His presentation included some details and photos which really made a great difference in our experience on our tour the following day.  However, I have to say that whatever you may, or may not know about this historic area, actually being there in person is very powerful; it is a moving and sobering experience.  I could go on, but I think the photos say it best; take a look and note the captions which I’ve included….

Arromanches, the sight of the artificial harbor created by the Allied Forces; constructed by the British

Arromanches, the sight of the artificial harbor created by the Allied Forces; they used these ‘barge-like’ stuctures which had been constructed by the British

The stunning coastline in the Normandy region

The stunning coastline in the Normandy region

A view from inside the German bunkers, looking out to the toward the oncoming invasion area

A view from inside the German bunkers, looking out to the toward the oncoming invasion area

More fantastic scenery along the coastline

More fantastic scenery along the coastline

Leading up to the bunkers, there are craters everywhere from the bombing during the invasion

Leading up to the bunkers, there are craters everywhere from the bombing during the invasion

Omaha Beach memorial

Omaha Beach memorial in memory of the soldiers who landed on June 6, 1944. (around 2000 Americans died).

Memorial area at cemetary

Memorial area at the American cemetery in Normandy. The speaker to the right gave our group a brief presentation and led us in the pledge of allegiance.

A virtual sea of crosses and stars of David in the U.S. cemetary; more powerful than you could expect

A virtual sea of Crosses (and Stars of David) in the U.S. cemetary; more powerful than you could expect. Also of note: this is U.S. soil, despite being within the country of France!

Normandy Cemetery closeup

We were each given a rose to place on the grave or our choice. We located one who had passed on the same date as our visit, July 7.

Normandy American Cemetery entrance

Normandy American Cemetery entrance

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