THANK YOU

In memory 1944-2014.

An American tank crew in Avranches, Normandy, Summer 1944 by Frank Scherschel

Blue beaches murmur waves
Splashing old, rusted war remnants.
A sea bird flaps wet beaches
Where the sea swells and crashes gently on wet sand,
Retreating back erasing all footprints.
The men stare the distance,
At blurred memories through tears.
Trickling down their cheeks dripping softly,
To merge with the sea like before.

Excerpt from ‘Harbingers’ by Curtis D. Bennett

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LEST WE FORGET

A Tribute to D-Day.

blending-historic-moments-into-present-day-photos-and-locations-seth-taras-history-channel-know-where-you-stand-dday-normany-wwii Seth Taras 

Tomorrow marks the 69th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy. Like every year, Bayeux celebrates its liberation and honors those who fought and fell for freedom.

The above image by Seth Taras from the Know Where You Stand series created for the History Channel, dramatically illustrates how I feel when walking down the calm Normand coast. My daughter is too small to understand this region’s historical significance, but we do. My husband’s family, his grandparents and parents, were greatly impacted by the war and I feel very fortunate to have heard their direct accounts. Enjoying the serene beaches that are only lightly freckled now with a few leftover bunkers and artificial harbours, one can’t help think about what happened here in 1944. To them, we shall forever be grateful. (more…)

PLACE DE GAULLE

Bayeux yesterday and today.

General_de_Gaulle_addressing_the_citizens_of_Bayeux,_14_June_1944._A24136 General de Gaulle addressing the citizens of Bayeux, 14 June 1944
P1050813 …and the same place today.

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Like so many places in Bayeux and Normandy, the apparent calm and tranquility hides a history of dramatic events. La Place de Gaulle was the location of General de Gaulle’s famous Bayeux Speeches, the first one taking place on June 14th, 1944 just a few days after the Normandy invasion. Today, high school students hang out on the sparse lawns and families bike weekends on its quaint paths.

ARROMANCHES

A lovely sleepy coastal town in Normandy.

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One of my favorite little towns on the D-Day beaches is Arromanches les Bains.

Site of Mulberry “B”, one of the artificial harbours assembled for allied invasion forces, this quaint little town consists of only a couple of hotels, restaurants, cafés and crèpe venders. My favorite spot, however, is the vintage carousel that sits right on top of the coastline next to the Arromanches D-Day museum, Musée du Débarquement.

For more information on Arromanches, check out this lovely piece in Historynet by James Ullrich.

CASTLE IN THE SNOW

A visit to a medieval landmark on a snowy afternoon.

Château de Creully, Normandy

chateau de Creully Normandy

flowers in the snow

Unfortunately, most of France seems to have the flu at this moment, so we took a family drive to Creully, a small town several miles east of Bayeux.

The Chateau de Creully is a rare medieval fortress which evolved greatly between the 11th to 17th centuries.

After D-Day it was the BBC’s headquarters who housed its transmitter in the tower.

It was perfectly silent and still the day we visited, the lawns covered with a light blanket of snow. Flower beds colored the landscape, hopefully a promise of Spring soon to come.

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