The images on television over the last few days have been poignant – commemorating D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. Remembering all those that lost their lives at the beginning of the end of World War II. As images flash before me, I can see myself standing in those same places a few years ago when we visited Normandy. The feelings flooded back.
As Obama spoke of the American soldiers as he stood in the Normandy American Cemetery my mind automatically fluttered back to the feeling of horror mixed with serene reflection which overtook me surrounded by 9,387 white crosses marking lost American lives. It is one of the most amazing places I have visited and a site that truly brings home the scale of the loss of life of the D-Day landings and the battles that followed. So many in their final resting place so far from home.
|The American War Cemetery in Normandy|
|The British war cemetery in Bayeux: a humbling place to be|
|So many of the German graves are unnamed soldiers|
|The German cemetery: the black crosses in contrast to the white
crosses in the American cemetery is striking
In Arromanches-Les-Bains, as Prince William made a speech about ensuring that our generation and the generations to come never forget the sacrifices made on these Normandy beaches, I remembered walking across the beach at low tide to take a closer look at what is left of the floating harbour which is linked to Sir Winston Churchill.
And as we wandered around Normandy we were struck day after day by the scars that the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy left on the area. It is immersed in what happened along that coastline seventy years ago. I hope those scars will be an eternal reminder of the sacrifice and bravery of so many who gave their lives for the freedom with we live with today. Lest we forget.