From Omaha Beach (D-Day landings, June 6, 1944) we made our way, by bus, to the Normandy American Cemetery. On the side of the road were segments of floating bridges used to carry vehicles across water …
The Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-mer is the largest American Cemetery from WW II covering 172.5 acres ..
9 387 service men and women are buried here marked by hundreds of simple rows of white crosses : 307 unknown : 3 Medal of Honour recipients : 38 pairs of brothers buried side by side
The ‘Garden of the Missing’ commemorates a further 1 557 soldiers, sailors and airmen who fell in Normandy and have no known graves
Visitors Centre – very interesting with memorabilia, personal recollections, etc. There is also a data base where one can find the grave numbers of next-of-kin
Resistance Forces cap and weapon ..
Memorial … ‘The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves’ – on either side of this huge wall maps show the campaign in the European Theatre of Operations (ETO)
Couldn’t get decent photos from here on as light rain was falling. A stirring experience to watch the Last Post ..
.. the flag was then folded by a couple. The gentleman was blind. They were given the perfectly folded-into-a-triangle flag. We wondered what the story was behind this ..
In the centre of the Cemetery is a small chapel ..
The names of the 1557 missing in action are carved on the wall surrounding the garden ..
Interesting facts :
*Mark, our Tour Director, told us, which I had forgotten, remembering it only now while researching the Cemetery’s info … is that there is a sealed time capsule under a pink granite slab in the lawn opposite the old Visitors’ building. It contains news reports of the June 6, 1944 landings in Normandy. The inscription on the slab reads ‘ To be opened June 6, 2044’ Umm I’ll be 91!! .. if I’m still around 🙂
*Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jnr, killed 12 July, 1944, nephew of the President is buried next to his brother Quentin, a pilot
*2 brothers whose story inspired ‘Saving Private Ryan’ are buried here. 2/Lt Preston Niland (killed 7th June, 1944) and Sgt Robert Niland (killed on D-Day)