Remembering D-Day

Old Jun 6th, 2016, 09:28 AM
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Remembering D-Day

I put this in the Lounge this morning on a D-Day thread.

Tracy and I have had the opportunity to visit Normandy twice. Our first visit in 1998 culminated with the sound of Taps being played late in the afternoon at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer. It was an incredibly moving experience.

In 2012, we returned again, this time with Kim and Mary, and took a 1/2 day Operation Overlord tour. We visited many of the D-Day sites including Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc and, once again, we toured the cemetery. It was a fascinating morning, including hearing the story again about Mary’s dad’s heroism during the initial landing (pretty incredible).

The lovely nearby town of Bayeux, where we stayed is also very worthwhile and makes the perfect base. Bayeux has a beautiful cathedral and one of our all-time favorite sights to visit, the Bayeux Tapestry.

If you ever get the opportunity, I hope you get to Normandy to pay tribute to those who sacrificed so much.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 10:31 AM
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Tom, you said it all so well. We felt the same way when visiting the D-Day sites. It really is a wonder that any of the Allied troops survived.
And the Bayeux's Tapestry is also very worthwhile.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 01:27 PM
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Next week I will help my neighbour celebrate his 96th birthday. 72 years ago he led his troop of duplex drive (swimming) Sherman tanks from the Fort Garry Horse on to Juno Beach at St-Aubin-sur-Mer in support of the North Shore Regiment of Canada.

Here is a famous film of the North Shores landing on Juno under fire:

I've been to the Normandy Beaches and elsewhere in Normandy a number of times, including the 60th anniversary in 2004. I've never failed to be impressed by the courage and determination of all the Allied troops in that long and bloody battle which lasted until the end of August 1944.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 02:48 PM
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Remembering D-Day
Posted by: maitaitom on Jun 6, 16 at 1:28pm

Tom, Thank you. Santé.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 02:49 PM
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I visited the American Cemetery as a young teen and never forgot the sight. I burst into tears.

Around 30 years later, my husband and I took our adolescent children to Normandy. We were lucky to be on a bike tour with a Canadian history teacher, and he gave us a short and moving account to read aloud to the kids once we got to Omaha Beach.

We owe those guys--and all the gals that worked with, for, and behind them--our way of life.

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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 03:12 PM
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I do want to get there someday. another reason I need to go in warmer weather! I am so grateful for the Allied troops and their sacrifices there. Thanks for posting.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 03:55 PM
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On a Commonwealth-oriented tour of the beaches a few years ago, I asked the English guide about that footage. He detoured our van and showed me some of the houses, still standing, that are visible in the background of the film. It is bonus details such as that which convince me a guided tour of the beaches is worth every extra dollar over a DIY wander.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 04:46 PM
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Thank you for your post. We are going for the first time this fall.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 05:34 PM
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Skip be sure not to skip (I've always wanted to say that) the Bayeux Tapestry. Pretty remarkable history. If you check the previous chapter (Thirteen), it tells about visting the tapestry, the cathedral, Arromanches (about a half hour from Bayeux) where the British erected an articial harbor (Port Winston).

We then walked up a hill to the Arromanches 360 circular theater where we watched a movie (360 degrees) called The Price of Freedom. At some points, you almost felt like you were in the battle.

On the way back, we stopped in the British War Cemetery. Nearly 4,000 British soldiers are buried there, and interestingly, about 500 Germans.

Have a wonderful trip.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 06:58 PM
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Thank you for posting this. We loved the cathedral in Bayeux and visited Arromanches much as you did and agree it is worth spending some time there.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 07:19 PM
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I agree. I took my sixteen yr old grandson two years ago, stayed at the villa Lara in Bayeux (a very nice hotel) saw the tapestry and took an Overlord tour. Both my grandson and I thought the tour was excellent-- six other people and a good guide and it left from outside the Villa Lara. We also took a daylong tour to Mt St Michel. I had been before but it was a good introduction for him.
If anyone finds Normanday moving, they might want to consider a trip to WW1 cemeteries and battlefields in northern France and Belgium. Very inspiring.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 07:42 PM
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Thanks for the posting.

I was there 2 years ago. Loved those pictures also
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Old Jun 7th, 2016, 12:56 PM
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maitaitom - totally agree with everything you said. We were there in 2004 with our older granddaughter and in 2011 with our younger granddaughter - both trips were very enjoyable. And both granddaughters were very moved by the history of all the places we saw and by the exhibits at the Caen Museum. It was an unforgettable experience to see how incredibly beautiful it is there now and it's just unimaginable how it must have been on D-Day. Thanks for posting this.
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Old Jun 7th, 2016, 01:47 PM
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" at the Caen Museum..."

...a place I need to see one day. Thanks John.
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Old Jun 8th, 2016, 03:02 PM
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Well said. We owe a debt of gratitude that can not be adequately expressed with mere words. I was there in 2000 and am so looking forward to going back next month to again pay my respects.
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Old Jun 9th, 2016, 08:04 AM
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We just returned from our second trip to Omaha, Pointe Du Hoc and the Cemetery. It is absolutely an emotional trip for me. This trip included a friend whose father was one of the Pointe du Hoc Army Rangers. I second the benefit of a private guide. We used, and loved the service from Overlord Tours on a private one day tour.
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