American Cemetery, Omaha Beach, Normandy, France

omaha beach cemetery dusk
The cemetery looks so peaceful at dusk.

This is the second time we've visited the Omaha Beach Cemetery in Normandy. The first time was in 2007. Just like then, we took the train to Caen, then rented a car for a couple of days of Normandy exploration.

I'm drawn to Omaha Beach because my father landed there on D-Day. This time we spend a couple of hours walking almost the entire five-mile length of the beach and only came up to the cemetery as it was getting dark. The beach itself has almost no remnants of the battle. There's a new memorial sculpture, which I don't much like, and there are some concrete piers and wooden tracks where the Allies built a harbor to unload all the materiel they'd need for the next eleven months push into Germany. And nearly all the German bunkers have been removed. So, the battle on the beach is left to the imagination. Except for its cost, which is counted here in thousands of crosses and Stars of David.

omaha beach sculpture normandy france
The Omaha Beach memorial sculpture.

Here is the memorial sculpture. Maybe you'll like it more than I do.

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omaha beach pier remnants normandy france
Maybe a better memorial than the sculpture are the disappearing remnants of a temporary pier used to off load materiel to support the invasion.

I find the tiny remnants of the piers the Allies built more metaphorically telling of what went on here.

Here is another post about the battle for Pointe du Hoc on D-Day, adjacent to Omaha and Utah Beaches.

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2 thoughts on “American Cemetery, Omaha Beach, Normandy, France”

  1. The cemetery and pier photos are very moving. I think it’s sad they removed the bunkers. I would’ve liked to have seen what it looked like back then and reflect on the bravery of those who stormed the beach.

    Reply
    • Yes, Katrina, they’ve pretty much removed any evidence of the German presence, and turned the hills that rise from the beach back to their state before the war. Some houses, shops, etc. It’s like the towns that were above the beach have grown back down to it. Pointe du Hoc, on the other hand, which is between Omaha and Utah beaches about 2 km to the west of Omaha, has been left pretty much as it was after the battle. Strings of barbed wire, smashed German gun emplacements, shell craters. I’ll be posting photos of that soon.

      Reply

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