Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Vacances Part 5: Omaha Beach and American War Cemetery

The D-Day beaches. Pictured above is a part of Omaha Beach. To stand on this beach and look out to sea, then across the flat sands, then up the gentle-sloping hills took words and thoughts away. I could only stand in awe, and respect of what had been done 66 years ago. Men and women walked and ran into certain death to liberate a country and people that they didn't know, and in so doing they began the end of a world war. I could easily feel the heaviness of this place. Thousands had died on the very beach that I stood, and thousands more had lost friends, brothers, leaders. I'm not much of a history buff, but standing in a place like that where significant (and not that long ago) history had taken place, I desperately wanted to know more. Reading the stories and timelines and quotes inside the American War Museum brought it home. Walking through the cemetery and reading the names and home states of the fallen took us home. This day in age, we don't often advertise our nationality when we're traveling the world, but being here made us immensely proud to be Americans.

Thousands and thousands.
These are grandparents and friends of, legends, heroes, normal everyday men and women.

Not sure if this guy was dancing, being born, ascending to heaven, or asking for his dinner.
Whatever he's doing, he's the statue/memorial/symbol of a beautiful and important place.

Explaining to a 1-yr old that this is a "quiet, somber, respectful place" just didn't work.

We sort of felt like we were back in the States while at the American cemetery.
The landscaping very much felt like Washington DC.

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