Normandy D-Day Remembrance

Please join me in paying my respects at the many hallowed D-Day sites and memorials in Normandy, France…

Only by being there did I begin to appreciate the scale, audacity, and horror of that fateful enterprise launched on the morning of June 6, 1944. Standing on such hallowed ground where so many gave so much moved me to tears of grief, gratitude, anger, humility, and emotions I am still unable to put into words.

I hope this photo essay does justice to these sentiments as it recognizes and remembers the uncommon courage and ultimate sacrifice of the countless defenders of freedom who fought there.

Longue Sur Mer

The German Gun Batteries at Longues Sur Mer are battle-scared, but remain largely intact.
Imagine the shock, disbelief, and terror of the German soldiers seeing the approaching Armada.

Point du Hoc

Point du Hoc. Where American Army Rangers scaled the treacherous cliffs under fire….
… in order to overtake the heavily fortified gun emplacements.


Arromanches. Code named Gold Beach, and home to the artificial harbor christened Port Winston, remnants of which remain to this day.
The Arromanche360 museum immerses you in the chaos and terror of the invasion in sound and image.

Saint Mere Eglise

The church steeple and memorial to paratrooper John Steele in Saint Mere Eglise

American Cemetery at Colleville-Sur-Mer

Thousands of crosses (and a few stars of David) at the American Cemetery, Colleville-Sur-Mer
So many still unknown

British Commonwealth Cemetery in Bayeux

The reverence that the French have for the fallen is both seen and felt.
Make sure to read the inscriptions.
but be prepared to “lose it”, as I did on many occasions.

German Cemetery at La Cambe

The somber, understated German Cemetery at La Cambe
A reminder that there were victims on both sides of the war

Omaha Beach

The Omaha Beach memorial museum preserves the history of and houses important artifacts from the invasion.
The gut-wrenching, first-hand accounts of the veterans are particularly worth your time and attention.
Some precious artifacts: Sand from Omaha Beach, British Razor, German land mine flag, Canadian machine gun shell, American Bandage, German Dog Tag from a fallen soldier.
Paying my respects as I wept on Omaha Beach.

Before leaving, please take a few minutes to read three of Ernie Pyle’s gut-wrenching and heartbreaking observations after he landed in Normandy just a few days after the invasion:

  1. A Pure Miracle (June 12, 1944)
  2. The Horrible Waste (June 16, 1944)
  3. A Long Thin Line (June 17 ,1944)

And consider how we all might contribute to bridge building and peacemaking in our daily lives.

Thanks & Peace.

2 thoughts on “Normandy D-Day Remembrance

  1. I can’t imagine anyone looking at these photos and reading those Ernie Pyle columns and not being immensely moved by their power. War is a far greater hell than any of us have the ability to grasp. Terrific post, Frank, thank you.

    1. Thanks, as always, for your most thoughtful and sensitive commentary, Larry. I’ve not served in the military, but have payed my respects at many battlefields around the world. In particular, I wept on Omaha Beach, unable to imagine the hell and humbled beyond words.

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