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Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day + 70 Years

D-Day.
Operation Overlord.
Normandy, France.
June 6, 1944
Why does it matter?

It was the beginning of the end in the long road to freedom. It was the offensive, coming to life on a wide scale, after the defensive had been enacted so often. It was the culmination of preparation and the collective holding of the nations' breath, as they took part in the largest ever amphibian assault in history.

Here are a few snapshots into the day.


Mulberry Harbor- These were the floating bridges built to transport the trucks and supplies from the ships to the beaches.







The beaches...




Omaha

Utah

Sword

Gold

Juno

More than just a name, these beaches resonate with the history and the sacrifice of Normandy. Even the stones seem to remember. When I stood on Utah beach, I picked up a stone that was striped red. I couldn't help but feel the stone told the story of that beach, also marred in blood and remembrance. And yet, there is a serenity and beauty that pulses from this land. It is the quiet echo of the beginning of freedom's toll.




Pointe du Hoc- This was a site for the German fortifications overlooking the beaches. Rangers scaled these cliffs. Not all battles were waged on the flat expanses of beaches.








Sainte-Mère-Église is one of the many towns in Normandy. Before the advance on the beaches, parachutes fell from the skies as the troops began securing the countryside. A parachute remains on the steeple of this church as a memorial.




What do crickets have to do with D-Day? Crickets were the name given to metal clacking devices that were used to signal in the massive Normandy hedgerows. They helped determine between friend and foe.

Normandy's landings can be viewed in more detail here.

After the landings, D-Day + was used to mark the time, in terms of days. Today, it is D-Day + 70 Years. Normandy remembers and so do I.


My best to you all,
Megan

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