August 14: Bayeux-Honoring Heroes of World War II

The sun was just beginning to peek from behind the clouds this morning as we headed to Arromanches. Hay was carefully bundled in all of the fields and cows grazed in green meadows. Wild flowers were abundant everywhere and roses grew alongside stone walls.

Today we drove westward to visit some of the beaches and museums in Normandy. At the Cinema Circulaire Arromanches, we saw a 360 degrees video about the Allied invasion. Black and white newsreels were combined with color video of the same area today. The film ended with footage of the cemeteries with thousands of tiny white crosses. People were visibly moved.

At the Musee de Debarquement we saw interactive models of the D Day Invasion. As you looked at the models of how the artificial harbors, or mulberries were built, you could look out the panoramic picture windows and see the actual concrete caissons that remain. Later when we walked the beach, we saw a moss covered caisson lying derelict on the sand.

Inside the museum were cases honoring each of the allied countries. The cases contained crisply pressed uniforms, shiny medals, and personal possessions such as ID cards, photos, soaps, and rations. At one of the videos we saw the emphasis was on treating the museum with reverence so that you can better understand the price that was paid for freedom. A man in his 80s left so moved he sat down to wipe his eyes.

Our hotel, Hotel Churchill, is really lovely and centered right in town. We visited the Cathedral Notre Dame which is massive. As we strolled through it, the organ played softly.

Dinner tonight was pizza and a salad. After dinner we spent time walking around town and just enjoyed the ambiance.

A moss covered caisson
lies derelict on the beach
But memories remain


CoachSparky said…
That sounds like an incredibly moving experience learning about World War II by visiting Normandy.
When you were on the beach, were you picturing what it would have been like to be there? When I think of Normandy, I always think of the beginning of the movie, "Saving Private Ryan".

Using images of Normandy back then and today in the film is definitely a powerful and an effective technique to show the differences. It reminds me of a film I saw about the Titanic which showed pictures of the grand ballroom and dining room when the boat was first constructed and then what it looked like when the crew found it at the bottom of the ocean.

Coach Sparky

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