Monday, June 21, 2010

Photos cannot express the power of these historic sites

Yesterday my friend and I visited some of the WWII sites in the Normandy region of France. Specifically, we visited Pegasus Bridge. Read the book by Stephan Ambrose if you haven't - an incredible story of some of the first troops on the ground shortly after midnight preceeding the amphibious assault 6 June, 1944.
After, we made our way along the coast to stop at Omaha Beach, the Big Red 1 Monument and the American Cemetary. The photos will have to do my talking because I don't think I could possibly write anything that could convey the power of the emotions I felt as I walked those hallowed grounds.
This shot is of the hillside that the Americans assaulted from Omaha Beach. You can clearly see two big gun emplacements in the center of the image and slightly right of center. The obelisk on the left is the memorial to the 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red One).

Hoot Stands inside one of firing positions we found on the hillside

The view from inside one of the big gun emplacements. A very commanding sector of fire.

Hoot stands next to the Big Red One Memorial. Three names were listed as winning the Medal of Honor.

The American Cemetary was the most powerful site we visited yesterday. Here are some images I shot there.
View from the main monument towards the cemetary.
Standing at the opposite end of the reflecting pool looking back at the monument.

Perhaps one of the most powerful parts is the special recognition the Jewish soldiers received with their grave markers.

This is just a small part of the total number of crosses.
One of two Medal of Honor recipients (that we saw) to whom we paid respect.
On the left side of this image is a row of MANY graves marked with the words "Here rests in Honored Glory A COMRADE IN ARMS known but to God". There was so many of these out there - there is also a tribute to other soldiers who were never recovered. I have a video of that I'll have to post later.

I did find one marker for PFC Howard Bowens from New Jersey. He fell while assaulting Point du Hoc with the 2nd Ranger Battallion on D-Day.
The other of the two Medal of Honor recipients we found.
We descended to the beach by a different route - here is another shot of the terrain those troops had to face on their assault of the beachhead.

That is what I have time for today. I'll continue with photos of Point du Hoc, The Ranger Museum, Utah Beach and Pegasus Bridge when I have more time.


  1. Gives me chills just reading...can't possibly imagine how it was to actually be there.

  2. Even in looking at the images it doesn't convey the real feelings of standing there and looking over the sea of crosses. What an unbelievable trip this has been.


Don't be shy! I'm interested to hear your comments or experiences.
NOTE: I have switched on the comment moderation because I have been getting a number of spam comments lately. Be patient, I'll post it up as soon as I can! Thx JD