beaches of normandy

we started early this morning at the hotel for breakfast. this hotel, normandy barrier, is nearing it's 100 year anniversary. they don't make rooms like this anymore. 

 got in the car and made the ride up the coast starting at pointe-du-hoc. this is where the rangers came on board between omaha and utah beach. the two beaches of normandy were primarily where the americans landed on d-day.

 what is incredible is the landscape.  the bunkers are still there.

Holes in ground
 the craters that the bombs created are still there.

 the turrets are still there.

 the views are still incredible.

Memorial on omaha beach
 after we drove over to omaha beach.  there is a memorial.  memorials are abundant through out this region.

 you realize how flat and long the beaches are and why they landed when it was high tide.

 we continued our journey to the cemetery.  as someone said to fred, the military does cemetery's well.  the museum tells what happened through a short tear-jerking movie and memorabilia.  i particularly liked this helmut and gun just sitting inside a glass structure with rocks on the floor.  kind of sums it up.  

 outside is a huge memorial with a wading pool in front.

 the cemetery.  perfectly lined up.  seeing all the grave sites is very powerful.  it is different seeing than knowing how many people died there.  hits you.

 some of the tombstones are unmarked because they didn't know who they were, others are marked.  the jewish tombstones all have rocks left on them meaning they have been visited.  

 there were maps everywhere showing the strategy and how everything played out.

War museum
 we left and drove to arromanches to see the museum there.  an excellent museum.  this is the beach where the british stormed france.  there were a variety of replica's made with small soldiers and tanks outlining exactly how the port was taken.  a false port was built off short with floating docks in order to grab the ground quickly.  

 my dad happens to be over here with his wife and another couple so we met them here and had lunch at the marine hotel.  nothing to write home about but the only place to really have a good lunch in town.  nice seeing them and hearing about their travels through france.

a great day.  josh and fred loved it.  really glad we came.  a piece of history never to be forgot and absolutely worth seeing where it all took place.  now a picturesque country side with old beautiful homes and buildings makes it difficult to imagine that one of the most important military events of the 20th century took place there.