The D-day beach
April 13, 2012 § 14 Comments
Beaches rarely comes up on my travel itinerary. However when we were driving back from the Normandy back to Paris, we decided to make a detour and stopped by the Omaha Beach. This isn’t your usual beach destination with bikinis and pina colada, in fact you wouldn’t even see anyone taking a dip. This stunning coast was the place where the U.S. Army landed on the German-occupied France, and fought the hard way through. It was one of the D-Day landing site.
Yes, we are talking about the Second World War again. I’m no expert in the different stages of the war and invasion, but I know this place was the turning moment of the war. Now the French lend this part of the soil to the American, tax free. There was a museum about the war, and the American cemetery. Everything was managed by the American, even when we entered the museum, we revere greeted by the familiar security check in the U.S. style. We watched a documentary film and saw some of the things that they used during the operation. My heart was tied like a knot when going through a few personal items that belonged to the troopers. There was even an English-French phrase book that taught the soldiers to communicate with other allied soldiers on basic things.
A path outside the museum would led us down to the Omaha Beach. It was a 10 mins walk through a tree lined path before reaching the beach front. It was a gorgeous and peaceful sight. You just couldn’t ignore the thought of how many lives were lost right here, and fought hard over these sand for what we have today. Pictures and movies about the war kept popping up in my head while I was walking barefoot along the beach. I could hardly believe this charming place was heavily guarded with lots of death traps.
Then we walked over to the American Cemetery. I’ve seen perfectly lined white crosses a few times in movies and photographs. However, standing right in front of them was a different story. I felt so humble to be here. This place tells a story of how valuable Freedom is and remind us to appreciate lives around us. All these are so beautiful and worth fighting for.