Vacances Normandes - Day 3

D-Day beaches and the American Cemetery
a stop in Bayeux known for having the super old Bayeux tapestry.  We took a look around the town, waited in line to see the tapestry but then decided to jump out and continue on.

D-Day was June 6th, 1944.  The allies crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy including Utah and Omaha beaches.  They were met with a sh!t storm from the Germans and at least 10,000 allied lives were lost on the first day.  It's the largest amphibious assault in history.  We prepared for this day by watching the storming the beach scene in "Saving Private Ryan" and episode 2 of Band of Brothers where Easy company parachutes into Normandy.  It definitely helped to understand the lay of the land and appreciate the gravity of this area of Normandy. 155mm Long Tom canon used by the Americans.  You always hear about "88s" in Band of brothers so I guess this canon is double the size of the canons that constantly tortured Easy company.

these things were put on the beach to prevent Allied tanks from landing and causing havoc on the beaches and to complicate aquatic landings.
the storming of the beach happened at low tide to ease landing, i'm guessing it made it easier to avoid hitting the metal obstacles too.  After watching the beach scene of saving private ryan I can't believe how far it is from the surf to the hills and cliffs.  These guys crawled their way there under mortar and gun fire.  10,000 allies died on this beach.  I could count the number of families enjoying the beach on 1 hand.  Its an erie feeling being on this beach.  How many years will it take for this to not be a ghostly beach?  I'm guessing it will be within my lifetime.  Look at WWI,  I have no connection with that war, I never knew veterans from that war.  If this happened 100 years ago would I be building a sandcastle on this beach and having a picnic?

I saw a bunch of German tourists and families.  I wonder what it feels like for them visiting these memorials.  It must suck to be vilified for generations gone past.  Even I feel it being raised in America.  That little german girl put her flip flopped foot on the monument and made me think it was pretty disrespectful especially because of the language she was speaking.  I guess any kid could have done that though.  But I instantly felt that because the Germans have been vilified (and it should just be the WWII bad guys that get that bad rap).  

A Newfoundland!
cool pruned trees at the Normandy American Cemetaray

9,387 soldiers and 4 civilians memorialized here.  The ultimate sacrifice.
plan of attack via the English Channel

I turn around and I see Phil Oliver, Luke's dad from London.  The last time I saw him was in Kentucky at Luke and Ellen's wedding.  What a coincidence to randomly see him amongst this section of headstones on this vast property.  It is truly a small world

that's the Atlantic ocean in the back.  This is a beautiful memorial on a bluff overlooking Omaha beach, one of the beaches the Americans stormed on D-Day

Here rests in honored glory a comrade in arms known but to god.  So many of these here.  A cool museum, the sereneness of the bluff and the ocean below juxtaposed against the violence responsible for the 9000 plus WWII remains memorialized here brings about feelings, at least for me, a WWII enthusiast.  This place has weight, it's a fitting memorial.  Memorials like this abroad and in the states fall to neglect when the US government comes to budget stalemates and funding gets cut.

Germans!!!!!  up on a cliff, Point du Hoc on Omaha beach, that the US Army ranger assault group captured this area fortified by the germans.
inside the concrete bunker.  Envoke WWII 1st person shooter video game mode.
the landscape if full of huge craters from shells from Allied bombing and from warship in the channel.  Nettles

serenity and nature after violence equals eerie meloncholy sunny days by the ocean.

We drove on to the Bed and Breakfast we would stay at for the next two days.  It was really in the middle of nowhere and by the time we got there they said there was nothing open so we ate with them and drank lots of wine, Calvados, and Pommeau