Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial: A Profound Feeling

As Matt, D and I headed back to Paris from Pointe Du Hoc and Omaha Beach, we made a stop at the American Cemetery.  This memorial contained the tombstones of the United States servicemen and women whose remains were laid to rest in Normandy after WWII. We arrived to find the facility was closed to the public. It was being run by a former U.S. Marine (Take note: You don’t say former Marine because ‘Once a Marine, Always a Marine’). D, being a military veteran, helped convince the owner to give us five minutes to visit and be out.

I decided to just take as many pictures as I could, saving their reviewing for later, since we could only be in the memorial for a short amount of time. As I ran up the steps, I came to a complete halt as I saw the vast number of graves. Oh, the ugliness of war.  I thought about all the families that lost their loved ones during this battle. I looked out in the distance at Omaha Beach and serenity came over me. Because no one else on the premises but us three, one could hear the waves crashing on Omaha Beach.  The saying “REST IN PEACE” could not have rung more true.

Who knows what the world would have been today had our WWII veterans not valiantly and bravely defended our humanity? To show my continued appreciation and gratitude, I always make sure to say Thanks to every living WWII veteran I cross paths with. Their generation helped shape the world as we know it today. To all veterans and military families, I wish I could do more than thank you for your service, but as a serviceman told me, “Thanks for paying taxes.”

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About refinedcolloquy

29 y/o male working in the rehab world of physical & occupational therapy. I started the blog to share my thoughts, and call things for what they are. I am a fair-minded person, and moderate in most of my views. While political topics will be the bulk of my postings(sure to offend conservatives & liberals), I will venture into more personal postings such as travel, and occasionally, sports & music. Refined Colloquy? Well, simple. I wanted something that had a simple sophistication to it. Enjoy.
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13 Responses to Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial: A Profound Feeling

  1. David Navarre says:

    The cemetery is truly stunning. A shame you didn’t have enough time to visit the museum there as well. It really can blow you away.

    • The cemetery is indeed stunningly remarkable. We spent most of the time at Omaha and Pointe Du Hoc, which left us with just about 5 minutes. I definitely will do the best I can to go back there and visit the museum. How long ago where you in the area?

      • David Navarre says:

        Our last visit was a year ago (October 2010), but we try to go every year. We’re likely to return for the 68th anniversary in June, so we can see the unveiling of the Winters Leadership Memorial in St Come du Mont. It’s great when we get to revisit these locations because I carry images in my head (and on video tape) and can overlay what I’ve been reading since my last visit. I get new perspectives and things “make more sense” when I go back and look at the various positions, studying terrain and thinking about what has been said and written. When we were there for the 65th anniversary, we met two members of I Company, 3rd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment and I got them to sign a book about their battalion. My eyes got a little misty at that.

  2. Lo says:

    Do you have a sense of how many graves (Crosses) where there?

    • David Navarre says:

      Lo, there are 9386 WWII American military dead buried there, plus Quentin Roosevelt, who was killed in WWI and was re-interred next to his brother, General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., who died of a heart attack on 12 July 1944, having lead troops ashore a month earlier. Those two were sons of President Teddy Roosevelt.

      • Lo says:

        thanks. wow. Thats alot of people. I’m trying to visualize being there. I bet its like stepping into a different dimension. Like being stuck in a timeless capsule while the hustle and bustle of the town around goes on. The water, the waves splashing on the shore and the wind blowing over the graves. Paranormal activity will have a field day in a place like this. But I hope they and others like them are never given access. All they do is disrupt the peace of the dead.

  3. David,

    Very profound indeed. I wish I had the time to go there in June and be a part of that. It is always heartfelt reading about the stories from wars way back when, and to think of how far we have come now. It is a similar feeling I have for the troops fighting in today’s wars, and those who have come back with so many battle scars and wounds, and to think of the families who made all the sacrifices while their loved ones were gone.

    I hope you have a good time on your return. Do you have a blog page on here by the way? I tried looking you up but could not find it.

    Thanks

  4. Meredith Barnes says:

    The pics of the cemetary…just seeing them I can feel what you felt when you “came to a complete halt”. Very powerful image

    • Meredith, sorry for the late reply. But you know, I went back and read the blog post and indeed it brought me back to the same feeling I had walking through there. A must visit for anyone. I am glad you like the image. When we were there we didn’t have much time to actually stay in there (maybe 5-10 mins), so I was just taking pictures as I was running and looking back, I am glad I captured the ones I did, and certainly happy you like the image.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful photographs of your visit to France, but most of all, your love of America here on the pages of your blog. For those of us who will never be able to see this place where so many of our young men and women died, our fathers and mothers, our ancestors, your blog is a true gift. My husband and I have enjoyed the time you have spent in our home helping him regain his physical strength, but also getting to know you. You are a fine young man. May God bless you on your continued journeys.
    Bob and Judy Shubert

    • Mrs Shubert,

      Thanks for taking the time out to stop by my blog. I appreciate it. I am of course glad that I was able to work with your husband (Robert) and get to know you both as well. This is one of the greatest reasons why I went into this field, having been through it myself, it is the relationships you build and the ability to get to know other people and/or learn something new. I hope you both had a safe and fun trip down to Alabama. I will be checking out your blog soon as well. I am glad to know you liked the posts on France. I haven’t written in a while, due to being busy with other things, but I will get back to posting at a pace of 2-3 per week as I initially had planned when I started blogging. Thanks for the kind words, and wishing you God’s blessings.

      Fritz

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