I’ve chosen a photo of the Omaha Beach memorial for Day 6 of my Normandy Advent Calendar. It represents one of my most memorable days out and is such an incredibly powerful sculpture.
Omaha Beach stretches along 4 miles of the Normandy coastline between the villages of Vierville, Saint-Laurent and Colleville. The 1st and 29th US Infantry Divisions landed here on D-Day and faced very difficult challenges to reach the villages inland.
The Omaha Beach memorial is called ‘Les Braves’. It honours the bravery and courage of the soldiers who landed here. The steel sculpture was inaugurated in 2004 – the day before the 60th anniversary of D-Day.
If you’d like to see it, then head to the village of Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer. As you can see, it’s installed on the beach only around 10 meters or so from the shore. The waves were lapping round the base when I visited at high tide and the sculpture glinted in the sunlight.
There are three elements to the memorial. The central section is upright representing standing up for freedom and liberty. On either side are the wings of hope and the wings of fraternity.
Click here for more photos of the Omaha Beach memorial. It changes form as you move around it and is a beautiful piece of art.
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