Of course on our trip to Normandy we also visited Omaha Beach the scene of the disasterous landing by the Americans and when you see it you can see why so many died. Airplanes were supposed to have blown away most of the bunkers and guns up above the beach, but they went too far inland. Also, the landing boats had to arrive at low tide which meant that the men had to run a long way to get under the guns. The Germans had also put logs in the water pointed in such a way to stop or damage most boats. In the end, it was because there were so many Americans coming and because ships at sea could fire their guns when the tide was high again and a few tanks were able to blow away some bunkers that the landing was a success. If you’ve seen the horrifying opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan, you can imagine just how it must have been.
You can see how it looked after the bombs had done their job. As our guide said, like the surface of the moon.
The American Cemetery. It’s so sad to see all of the crosses, made of white marble from Tuscany, of those who died there. Some are unknown.
It’s a beautiful, peaceful place on land given to the Americans by the French. It’s taken care of an organization and no profit can ever be made from anything there so in the scene where in Saving Private Ryan, the family comes to the grave, that grave is not real but put there temporarily by Steven Speilberg for the movie.
Flags in a chapel on the grounds.
Omaha Beach now. Hard to imagine how it was back then.