Skip to content

Normandy American Cemetery

Normandy American Cemetary

This past weekend, Americans celebrated Memorial Day and spent some time remembering all those who gave up their lives in service to our country.  This last March I had the chance to visit the D-Day Beaches in Normandy, France.  I learned a lot in my visit and was struck at several points by the incredible difficulties faced by the Allies in leading such a massive and risky invasion.  But what I returned to this Memorial Day were the individuals interred at the Normandy American Cemetery on the Landing Beaches.  The cemetery was impressive in its size but also its reverence and honor of those buried therein.

Normandy American Cemetary

The American Cemetery overlooks a stretch of Omaha Beach.  The grounds were very well maintained with shaped shrubs and purple flowers even before Spring had started.  In the small on-site museum, the reoccurring theme in all the exhibits was sacrifice and duty.  Over and over the stories of individual soldiers are retold describing the confusion, fear, violence and bravery of the landing.  You feel a reverent heaviness as you walk amid all the neatly lined gravestones.

Normandy American Cemetary

I couldn’t help but stop and think about each of the men that I passed.

Normandy American Cemetary

Medal of Honor, Normandy American Cemetary

unknown grave, Normandy American Cemetary

As an American cemetery in France, there was a beautiful sense of gratitude as well.  I particularly liked the mosaic ceiling of the cemetery chapel.  On one side, Lady Liberty as America is shown sending a young man to war.  On the opposite side, Marianne as France tenderly holds and crowns the dead soldier in thanks for his sacrifice.

Normandy American Cemetary, Chapel Ceiling

Normandy American Cemetary, Chapel Ceiling

While I think the loss of all life in war is a tragedy, at least these American soldiers have a peaceful and fitting burial site befitting their sacrifice.

Advertisements
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. What a lovely tribute to your lost soldiers, both the cemetery and you post. And what a shame we still have need for these cemeteries.

    Like

    May 29, 2013
    • Thank you. The greatest memorial is to remember those who died when we think about the future.

      Like

      June 1, 2013
  2. Michael "Mike" Alan Hillman #

    I visited Normandy 4 years ago and will make a return trip next month 2016
    My Uncle was a Ranger that scaled Utah and survived only to return home with
    memories of all the death and destruction that had once all around him – My Father (Navy Pilot ) and other brothers were also in the Navy in which one brother was killed on the Lexington

    My thanks to the French Gov’t and people to keeping the grounds on the Allied Memorials in such Pristine condition these many years

    Mike Hillman
    Lafayette, La

    Like

    February 20, 2016

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. D-Day 70 Years Later – The Omaha Beach Memorial | Daydream Tourist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: