Hallowed Ground

Early morning in the Normandy countryside

After  traversing hot
and arid landscapes through Spain, Canary Islands and Morocco the lush
landscapes of Normandy were a welcome change. The light was golden as it the filtered
through the yellow leaves of autumn. The nice cool morning was peaceful as our
bus rolled through the countryside. Fog still hung low in the valleys, cows
were out grazing in the pastures and the apples trees heavy with fruit passed
by the windows in a flash.

The first destination was the to see the American Cemetery
then on to the landing beaches of Omaha. However, we lucked out; the tide on the
beaches was at low tide rising just like on the morning of D Day. For the Americans
the invasion started at 6:30 and for the British and Canadians it was to come
at 7:30.

Omaha beach

low tide, Omaha beach  

low tide, Omaha beach

However, standing on that beach the words that come to mind
are vast and expansive. It is hard to put into words what it must have been
like for the young men. If they made it off the boats slogging through soft
sand with a rifle, pack wet uniform and boots. How loud and confusing that morning
must have been. The solitude for me on that beach was overwhelming.

Les Braves Memorial, by Anilore Banon added in 2004

I took my pictures, gathered up my sand, and boarded the bus
for the American Cemetery.

The American Cemetery is the hallowed ground of the remains
of the soldiers who died during the invasion. The French donated that plot of
land to American so you are actually on American soil while in the cemetery. It
is the final resting  place of 9,386 American soldiers.

As you walk up to the semi-circle   the battle plans flank both sides of the monument.
Standing there, you only see a part of it for you have to crest the hill to get
the true magnitude of this place.  Sons, fathers,
brothers all lay silent as you gaze on row upon row of  crosses and  star of David mark this hallowed ground. Even
those only known to God rest here.

Known only to God 

Final words


  1. mkvadnais
    October 10, 2018 / 7:26 pm

    How serenely beautiful and sad all at the same time. Great pictures.

  2. Karie Babbitt
    October 11, 2018 / 1:26 am

    Beautiful pictures and so touching.

  3. ssouthernlifestyle
    October 11, 2018 / 1:30 am

    Such a beautiful story with beautiful pictures. It’s important to remember the sacrifices that were made. Thank you for sharing.

  4. October 11, 2018 / 1:26 pm

    Your pictures are beautiful and so are your words that describe this experience. I’m sure it was difficult to summon the words to describe it.

    • eatbaketravel
      July 25, 2019 / 5:29 pm

      Thanks. It was the most moving place I have ever been

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