With Memorial Day on the horizon, it felt right to share these photos of my 2019 visit to Normandy, France to see the D-Day beaches. I was blessed to be able to cross off this bucket list item when I stepped foot on Omaha Beach that rainy day in October. The visit to Paris, and the day trip to Normandy, was a gift from my mother for my 50th birthday, a once-in-a-lifetime mother/daughter trip, for which I will always be grateful.
Standing on that beautiful, sacred ground, it was hard to imagine that 75 years before, thousands of Allied troops, many in their teens, stormed the beach at dawn, not knowing if they would live or die. Hitler was asleep when they landed, having given orders not to be disturbed before noon. His general in charge of Normandy had gone to Germany to celebrate his wife’s birthday. Though they had been anticipating an attack, they weren’t sure where, and it never occurred to them that the Allies would risk stormy weather to catch them off guard.
With the rain falling lightly on my face, the waves lapping at my boots, and the delicious scent of salt air filling my nostrils, I closed my eyes for a moment. I wanted to take it all in; the sacred energy of the place, the overpowering feeling of being humbled and inspired at once, the sadness over the loss of life, the gratitude for their courage, and the freedom I had to be able to stand there, safe, protected, privileged.
To all the men and women who have served and died so that we and our allies might be free from tyranny, merci.