Normandy D-Day Commemorations

The 6th June 2018 marks the 74th anniversary of D-Day and will see many D-Day commemorations taking place in various locations around Normandy.

This poem was written by Jodie Johnson in 1996 when she was 11. Simply beautiful.

WHO ARE THESE MEN?

Who are these men who march so proud, 

Who quietly weep, eyes closed, head bowed? 

These are the men who once were boys, 

Who missed out on youth and all its joys.

Who are these men with aged faces,

Who silently count the empty spaces? 

These are the men who gave their all,

Who fought for their country for freedom for all.

Who are these men with sorrowful look 

Who can still remember the lives that were took? 

These are the men who saw young men die, 

The price of peace is always high.

Who are these men who in the midst of pain, 

Whispered comfort to those they would not see again? 

These are the men whose hands held tomorrow, 

Who brought back our future with blood tears and sorrow.

Who are these men who promise to keep 

Alive in their hearts the ones God holds asleep? 

These are the men to whom I promise again: 

‘Veterans’, my friends – I will remember them!

I’ve been privileged to have visited a number of the D-Day sites to pay my respects to the fallen which is both emotional and poignant as history comes to life before your very eyes. The photos may not do that so if you can visit, I really do recommend it. The only way I can describe the atmosphere is a sense of enormous respect and gratitude for the sacrifices these soldiers made. You feel as if time stands still. For many on D-Day, it did – the clock stopped and they remain forever young.

This is the Bayeux War Cemetery in Bayeux and the final resting place of Commonwealth soldiers. On one side of the road is the cemetery and opposite is the memorial.

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I visited Utah beach on a cold sunny day in February. Read about it here

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The view on Utah beach is very different today.

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The Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer is an extremely emotional place to visit. You can read my account of it here.

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The Battle at La Pointe du Hoc contributed to Omaha Beach earning the name Bloody Omaha. I spent a couple of hours here at the Visitor Centre and explored the difficult terrain which faced the American troops. https://www.facebook.com/gavraygiterentals/posts/2131048640448673

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Omaha Beach and Les Braves sculpture is amazing. My account is here.

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The village of Sainte Mère-Église near to Utah Beach was the first town to be liberated. An effigy of a paratrooper and his parachute caught on the church steeple serves as a memorial. Nearby is the Airborne Museum. It is a very charming village and full of history.

Sainte-Mère-Église church in Normandy Sainte-Mère-Église church in Normandy

This week Normandy will be welcoming veterans, their families and friends for the D-Day commemorations. Lest we forget.

http://www.ddayfestival.com

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