It's hard to imagine the contrast between Monet's beautiful gardens and the history of our next stop in Normandy, France just a couple hours away...... a beautiful landscape forever scarred by a horrific war and the bloodshed of so many.... I wish every American could visit the sites surrounding D-Day and the Normandy beach invasion..... a very sobering and humbling reminder that the freedoms we are afforded each day are anything but "free"....
Stained glass window commemorating paratroopers at Sainte Marie Eglise; where American soldier John Steele actually hung from the church spear for 2 hours after his parachute was caught while trying to land
German concrete casement/gun pit - Omaha Beach
bomb crater at Omaha Beach
Pointe du Hoc - where, amazingly, American soldiers scaled the 100 foot cliffs to successfully overtake the Germans
the American Cemetery where over 9,000 American soldiers are buried
an actual WWII Normandy vet as well as our friend who served in Vietnam are honored by being asked to assist in folding the flag at the American cemetery at the end of the day
.... the sincerest "thank you" to all of the men and women who have served or who are currently serving our country...
“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have
striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The
hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.
In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on
other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war
machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of
Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well
equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of
1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats,
in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their
strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home
Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions
of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men.
The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to
I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in
battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!
Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great
and noble undertaking.”