Memories of D Day in Normandy
The Normandy landings early on the morning of 6th June 1944 saw the Allied Forces land in France, a turning point in the war, and a day that changed history.. forever.
69 Years later and visiting the beaches, I am armed only with a few tissues.... it was not enough.
Walking the now peaceful beaches and along the clifftops it is both hard to believe what happened here and yet easy to imagine the sheer volumes of ships, soldiers and guns, and that tragedy that befell so many.
There are poignant reminders everywhere.
Dark bulks, remnants of the Mulberry Harbours sit out at sea.
Concrete gun emplacements and battle scarred bunkers line the coast. Huge holes in the ground from the Allied bombardment are scattered like pock marks across the land.
There is no escaping what happened here. This is an emotional place where it is impossible not to be moved.
Sad, tragic, disturbing and yet fascinating, the visitor's centre at the American cemetery brings to life the stories of so many soldiers. One feels compelled to read everything, watch every movie, read every story, because not to do so seems disrespectful.
It takes a long time and a great many tissues to get round the centre and then its up some stairs and outside to be met by the tombstones of over 9,000 servicemen and women. They stop you in your tracks.
9,387 simple white cross stand facing the US in a final salute to the homeland for which they gave their lives.
This statue at the Battle of Normandy Museum in Bayeux is a hand made reminder of "The day they came.... "