With the 75th Anniversary of the invasion of Normandy upon us, I’ve been thinking about the cruise we took last year to the Normandy region of France on Viking Cruise Line. It was a fabulous trip and the day we went to the beaches of Normandy was the highlight.
The excursion to the beaches of Normandy on Day 5 of the cruise is the longest day of all the excursions. It starts early in the morning with a bus ride through some quaint villages in Normandy where we stopped at one museum, as well as stopping at some old German bunkers that are still standing.
|Overlooking a beach where part of the invasion took place. What struck me the most the closer we got to the beaches is the fact that our American flag proudly flies on foreign soil. It filled me with pride!!|
|My son reading a memorial.|
|The first stop at a museum and beach where some of the vessels still remain.|
|Narrow streets in these villages.|
|I loved all the old churches. Notice the rooster on top. Every church steeple has a rooster weathervane.|
|One of the German bunkers.|
We stopped for lunch at a beautiful golf course. The great thing about traveling with Viking is that everything you do is first class!! Our meal was completely ready when we got there including a great dessert.
We then went to the American Cemetery in France.
|A memorial area at the cemetery where nearly 9400 men and women are buried. It had rained a lot so we didn’t get to walk through the graves to see any names.|
|The cemetery overlooks a portion of Omaha Beach.|
|This trip meant so much to Dr. T. We watched and read a lot about the war before going.|
As I turned to face the graves after the playing of our National Anthem, I saw grown men crying. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life.
We then went to Omaha Beach. Along the way, our tour guide told stories of the invasion. It was interesting and overwhelming.
|Flags of the countries that invaded proudly fly here.|
|As peaceful as this beach is, it is hard to imagine what happened here 75 years ago.|
|Dr. T and C gathering sand from the beach as a keepsake. The souvenir shops sell containers to put the sand in.|
Seeing our flag proudly fly in a foreign country, experiencing the French people’s love and appreciation for Americans, turning to face our flag and all those graves while our national anthem played at the US cemetery and seeing grown men cry will all stay with me for the rest of my life. Standing on those Normandy beaches knowing how many boys died there was very emotional. I am so thankful for those who gave so much!!!
On the 75th anniversary of such an important event, may all Americans come together and remember what we stand for–what our duty in this world is. May we all be proud to be Americans every day, but especially on this day.