Thursday, September 26, 2013


We headed to Normandy Sunday morning, it was rainy and icky outside. So we went to the beach?... I can't say enough about how beautiful it was in that part of France; the coast was amazing and the architecture was beautiful. Truly a place worth visiting. Our first stop was Arromanches beach, looking out over the water you can see the debris that were purposefully sunk to create a harbor for in coming boats. Up the road at our next stop was the remnants of a German battery on the edge of a cliff over looking the shores at Longues-sur-Mer. The guns and their bunkers remain partially intact and one of the best parts about Europe... nothing was roped off. You are free to climb in and around and touch what you please. The kids picked black berries beside a giant concrete Bunker that once housed the Nazi army and their guns. Surrounded by farms of wheat it was both beautiful and sad. Down the road a little farther was the Omaha Beach American war cemetery and museum. We did not know what to expect but the museum is wonderfully done and the cemetery it's self brought both me and Michael to tears. It's hard to explain seeing the mass graveyard of those that died so that we and our children could live freely. All I could think was how many tears were shed by the families of the men laid to rest there. They were all someone's son, brother, friend. It is overwhelming, and it made us feel truly thankful for what they gave, which was everything. The last stop was Pointe Du Hoc. This is where the Germans set up base it was also on a cliff overlooking the English channel with far sweeping views and numerous underground concrete bunkers. We were struck with the shear volume of concrete used to build these well thought out structures and the amount of time it would take to build them in what seems like such a rural part of the country. The bunkers were vast, but the most amazing thing to me was the size of the holes in the ground left by the bombings. The kids enjoyed playing in the bunkers and holes not fully appreciating how it came to be that way. Both me and Michael had great uncles that fought on those beaches and lived, it was a moving revelation to see our own children play on the same beaches where so many men had died, but God gave us the world to enjoy and those men who lost there lives gave that beach and so much more back to the world on June 6th 1944.
Remnants of the artificial harbor

Oliver on US Army Truck in a French Village

German Gun 

Michael dropping the kids into a treacherous  underground bunker

Safety First

Giant Bunker overlooking the coast

A snail for good measure 

Wheat fields beside the coast

American Cemetery with 9,387 graves

Omaha Beach

bomb craters

Inside the underground bunker near craters, it was dark inside you could only see with the camera flashs