Wow, where to begin. Our trip to Normandy was life-changing. Upon going over to the memorial in Normandy, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. It was a sunny day and families were playing out on the beach. It was strange to think about how the events that occurred there 74 years ago.
We rented a car and drove out there. The drive out there was amazing. We saw the most amazing farms and homes. They have clearly been there for so, so long.
It was so nice to get out of Paris for the day and be in an open, peaceful space. We visited Omaha Beach and the D-Day Memorial first. I was so thankful it didn’t rain like it was originally supposed to. The memorials at the beach were just beautiful.
After we paid our respects at the beach, we headed to the Omaha Beach Museum. They had a lot of items that were actually used on Omaha Beach and a lot of period items that would have been used then that they’ve collected over the years. It was amazing to see that France has never forgotten the United States’ involvement and sacrifice in Normandy. I wish we still remembered the sacrifices our troops made on that day here in the US like they do.
I think one of the most moving parts of our visit was our visit to Cimetière américain de Colleville-sur-Mer (Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial). This cemetery was created in 1944. The American soldiers who lost their lives on Omaha beach on D-Day or subsequently due to injuries in the following days are all buried there.
This is the view of the English channel. Michael said he could see some buildings in England on the other side. Do you see them?? I couldn’t. 🙂 This is on our way walking up to the main memorial. We walked up a small hill and then could see the memorial. It was absolutely gorgeous.
This cemetery was the first American cemetery created on European soil during World War II. France granted the United States a special concession to the land occupied by the cemetery, free of any charge or any tax to honor the forces that gave their lives assisting France.
The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial was so peaceful. You could hear the waves crash against the beach below. It was very moving. The cemetery also had a chapel. My husband commented about how much it felt like he was in Arlington cemetery.
I highly recommend visiting Normandy if you are in France. It is a once in a lifetime trip and it was so worth it. It was humbling and made me want to know more about that day and read more stories about that day from survivors. I can’t wait to find a good book about it!
Have you been to Normandie?