Posts Tagged ‘D Day 70th Commemorations’


Dawn–6 June 2014–close to “Juno” Beach

D Day 6th June 1944/2014

The enormity, the impossibility, the bravery, the awfulness, the wastefulness, the sheer chaos–you can read about it and watch films about it but standing on raised ground on that stretch of coastline in Normandy, is when the full story hits me.

I’m looking out across the wide stretch of the English Channel towards the Hampshire coastline and my mind starts playing with the image like the photographic trick of fading a present day scene into a photo of the same location years before and I catch my breath.

It’s a calm sea this Friday morning and empty, but at dawn on the 6th June seventy years ago it was a heaving mass of naval craft full of men about to put their lives in deadly peril.

Utah and Omaha beaches ( Colleville-sur-Mer)–American (73,000 men landed)
Gold and Sword (Arromanches and Ouistreham)–British and Free French (61,715)
Juno (Courseulles-sur–Mer)–Canadian (21,400)
156,115 troops landed on these beaches on the 6th of June 1944.
(Casualty figures are still being revised.)
Above the beach at Colleville is the American cemetery.
There are the crosses and the Stars of David, laid out in perfect symmetry.

At peace the soldiers honored here find order after chaos.

A sea of white marble contrasts the sea turned red from blood on D-Day 70 years ago.

This morning 6th June 2014 the 9386 fallen heroes buried above Omaha Beach are joined by a multitude of commemorators come to pay our respects and wonder how such a thing could have been endured.


An inland invasion this time and the crafts conveying the masses are coaches–hundreds of them–escorted from Caen to Colleville-sur-Mer by motorcycle gendarmes.


There will be ceremonies all along the coast in the days to come on the beaches and in the villages that saw the story unfold.

Some large involving Presidents and Queens and some more modest; many attended by some of the dwindling band of brothers brought together to save the world–70 years ago.







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