Thursday, July 7, 2016

American Tour of Normandy (7/7/2016)

Thursday, July 7, 2016 (continued)
After lunch we boarded the motor coach of the American tour, having switched from the Commonwealth tour that was going to a Canadian cemetery, Juno Beach, and Pegasus Bridge (which I would have also liked to have seen...).
Looking across wheat fields at the English Channel
Stopped at the Site de la Batterie Allemande/
Site of the German Battery in Longues-sur-mer
Overgrown gun emplacement
German 152 mm navy gun
Gun turret
There were four of these casemates
Casemate back door (KSS)
A lonely poppy
French resistance field staff tent (KSS)
Next stop, the Cimetière Militaire Americain/American Military Cemetery, a gorgeous site for the final resting place of 9,386 personnel. Imagine that this is only about 39% of the total who died here, as the remains of others were repatriated to the USA.
Program Director Guillaume passes
out roses for us to pay respects
From left to right, the heli-pad, the Superintendent's house, and the Superintendent's office (KSS)
Allée Coty
Marker for the time capsule to be opened 6/6/2044 (KSS)
Memorial colonnade with a statue of The Spirit of American Youth
Rising from the Waves
(1951) by Donald Harcourt De Lue
The rear (so to speak!) of the
Spirit of American Youth (KSS)
Bronze urn depicts a dying warrior astride a
charging horse (symbolic of war), as an angel
supports him and receives his spirit (KSS)
Map of the landings and subsequent movement (KSS)
Memorial Wall for the Missing that lists the 1,557
whose bodies were not found at the time
Soldiers found since the memorial was built
are marked with a small brass rosette (KSS)
The cemetery's overlook view of Omaha beach
Kent and Tamiko
The Memorial Colonnade and the Reflecting Pool
A member of the American Battle Monuments 
Commission leads a ceremony including the
 US national anthem and a minute of silence
The Viking passengers who served in the military
A rose for an unknown soldier
An Ohioan
The symmetry of grave markers
A different token of respect
The Chapel
Chapel ceiling mosaic with America blessing her sons as they depart
by sea and air, and France bestowing a laurel wreath upon those who died
A Star of David grave marker
Next stop the beach at St-Laurent-sur-mer.
Omaha Beach Memorial dedicated to the US 1st Infantry Division
Tamiko at Les Braves/The Brave sculpture (2004) by Anilore Banon
Omaha Beach is now a place of fun and pleasure
The D-Day forces had to cross the beach and open land to reach the
bluffs defended by Germans, although it is difficult to justify death,
the 10,000 killed in the initial invasion was much less than anticipated
This was an emotional day for many, and we fell asleep on the two-hour bus ride back to the Viking Rolf.
Dinner started with the recommended Soupe à l'Oignon/French onion soup with croutons and Gruyère cheese, but I had the Cuisses des Grenouilles à la Provençale/sautéed frog legs Provence-style with tomatoes and herbs. The main dish was Boeuf Bourguignon/red wine beef stew with mushrooms, onions and bacon, and egg noodles. The portions were huge tonight! The dessert was a Duo de Mousse au Chocolat/dark and white chocolate mousse.
Next: Les Andelys.

1 comment:

DCWms said...

Thanks for sharing these photos. I'll likely never get to see it in person.