D-Day Beaches, France

Last week I wrote about the first part of our trip to Bayeux; you can read about that here. After visiting sites in Bayeux, we headed to the D-Day Beaches and other WWII sites. We started our tour at Arromanches-les-Bains where artificial ports were installed to allow for quick unloading of supplies, equipment, and troops prior to the June, 1944 invasion.

Referred to as Mulberry A, located at Omaha Beach, and Mulberry B, located at Gold Beach, these portable harbors were developed in the UK, and towed across the English Channel for the invasion. You can read more about this incredible engineering feat here.

Today, Arromanches-les-Bains is a beautiful resort town, thanks to the sacrifices made by the British, American, Canadian, French, and other Allied Troops.

Our next stop was the American Military Cemetery located in Colleville-sur-Mer, on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach. The cemetery covers 172.5 acres and has 9,386 graves.

The site includes a semi-circular colonnade with a bronze statue titled “Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves” in the center. This site has a lovely reflecting pool, and maps of the invasion routes.

The location of our home is on the above map to the left. It’s hard to imagine troops in our quiet neighborhood.

At the Omaha Beach landing site, you’ll find museums and memorials dedicated to the 3,000 troops who lost their lives here on D-Day. I found it poignant to see people, even young people, laying flowers and wreaths at the base of the monument in the photo below.

As I mentioned last week, we stayed in Bayeux, which is about a 30 minute drive from the D-Day Beaches and other WWII sites. There are a wide variety of museums, monuments, and other WWII sites to see along the 54 mile stretch of coast near Bayeux, and a wide variety of tours available depending on your interests. Both theTravelsketcher and I have uncles who served here on D-Day, thus our interest in these particular locations.

Have you visited any of the WWII sites in this area? As always, I’m interested in your thoughts, so please leave a message.

Stay safe and healthy,

Tricia

16 thoughts on “D-Day Beaches, France

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  1. My Dad landed here on, what they called “D-Day plus 12” with an engineering corp. to build bridges in support of the allied effort. And I visited here in 1965. It was so overwhelming!

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    1. Wow; what an interesting story! It is an overwhelming place to visit. I wish I could have brought my dad here when he was alive so he could have seen where his brother was during the war. My dad also served, but in the Pacific.

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  2. Thank you for taking me on a tour of these famous grounds. You’re right about how beautiful the reflecting pool is and it is heartwarming to see that people still lay flowers at the monument after all these years.

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  3. I checked out Omaha Beach and the Normandy American Cemetery back in 2016; my friend and I literally walked from Omaha to the cemetery, and the views of the sea were solemn, but stunning. Definitely so much weighted history in this part of the region!

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  4. A special place to visit, process the weight of history and be (comparatively) thankful for the state of the world today. I really hope we don’t screw things up again and repeat the follies of the past. Things do feel like they’re on a knife edge at the moment. I have visited a bunch of WWII sites across the world and would like very much to cross this off one day. It looks so calm, peaceful and beautiful, they’ve done a good job with the memorials and artwork. Thanks for sharing Tricia.

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  5. So amazing you were able to visit, I’d absolutely love to one day. The reflecting pool looks like such a calm and serene place. It’s so harrowing seeing the expanse of graves spread out, and always give me a reality check of how lucky we are.

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  6. What an incredible experience to get to remember and honor those that gave so much that day. I just listened to a podcast where the guy was talking about being there for the anniversary of D-Day and how there were some of the few veterans from that day there and I got really emotional listening to him talk about it. I think it is becoming all the more important to remember these events and the people who gave us the life we have now.

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