I’ve been to Paris many, many times. Give that its just an hour and a half between the Gare du Nord and St Pancras, its quicker and easier to get to Paris than it is to south London from where I live.
A place I have less experience of, though, is rural France. That’s why a birthday trip to Normandy was so exciting- a new place to explore?! Sign me up.
Walking the quiet cemetery, it was impossible to comprehend the devastation and mass loss of life that happened on the same places I was walking, only 70 years beforehand.
The small museum helped paint the scene, and also shared the stories of some of the many heroes, some American, some from other places. What I liked best was, as you walked out to the cemetery, a voice read the names of all the known killed. It is a nice way to remember someone, and the ultimate sacrifice they made for their beliefs when they were younger than I am now.
Amongst the graves are many graves for unknown men, and it was hard to see them, and know that no one will ever know their names. So spare a thought for them, too.
The weirdest thing, though, was how the entire cemetery overlooks the beach, the beautiful, glorious beach, where life goes on and people laugh and swim and surf and sing and kiss and run and scold their kids down below.
A few paces away from the American cemetery is a monument in honor of a division of soldiers that pushed through the German lines- there was massive loss of life in the division, of course. If you walk a little further down from the monument, you’ll come across German pillboxes, where snipers picked off men landing on the beach.