France Day 3: D-day Museums

When day 3 of the trip rolled around, I was pumped to go see Omaha Beach and a few of the many D-day museums and exhibits that were in the area.  We started our D-day (or J-jour in French) tour at the Museum of the Battle of Normandy. It was a great museum with exhibits like video clips, dioramas, and equipment.

A Sherman tank at the entrance

A Sherman tank at the entrance

A 25 minute movie provided detail and explanations I didn’t quite get from the museum and also helped me imagine what the scene at Omaha Beach must have been like, which was our next stop.

As a military man, my dad enjoys going to American military cemeteries around the world, so this was a big stop for him.  The cemetery has a free exhibit that goes into more personal detail about the men who were involved with D-day while also providing a really helpful timeline of the war. The exhibit was extremely well done. We watched both of the short movies that were provided and I choked up a little bit.  It’s a very humbling and inspiring site.

I really liked this quote outside the cemetery

I really liked this quote outside the cemetery

Before we reached the actual grave sites, we passed Omaha Beach and looked down the slope to the English Channel.  With all the greenery and birdsong, it was incredibly difficult to imagine all the events that transpired almost 70 years ago. A sign placed at the top of the slope helped illustrate the movements of ships and men and it was neat to look out at the water and try to envision it.

All the beaches

All the beaches

Me and Quin at the top

Me and Quin at the top

We took a quick walk on the beach and then came back up to visit the cemetery.  The grounds were incredible and the attention to detail was seriously impressive.  I really liked how the graves were marked with either crosses or a Star of David, depending on the individual, instead of being completely uniform.

Over 9,000 grave sites. Powerful stuff

Over 9,000 grave sites. Powerful stuff

It was an awesome experience and I’m so glad I got to see it,  and especially getting to see it with my dad since he could elaborate on all the military history.

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