June 6th, 2014 was the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy, France during World War II. I joined an excursion out to the Normandy beaches to honor our soldiers who fought on that day.
The first place I went was the museum, which displayed all of the information that I learned in documentaries leading up to that day. While I already knew most of it, it was chilling to see the left-behind artifacts.
After the museum, me and my friend Andrea went down to Utah Beach. It was early in the morning, so we were the only people around for what felt like miles.
Next was the American military cemetery, which has 9,387 graves. Each soldier has a gravemarker, including those whose identities were unknown. While the majority were crosses, there were a large amount of Star of David gravemarkers to honor the Jewish-Americans. The mood was solemn, yet I found it to be beautiful. The weather was perfect and the sun was coming through the clouds in just the right way.
Omaha Beach was next. A large memorial has been installed on the beach. It reflected the sunlight beautifully. Everything was so calm and serene, it was hard to imagine the battle that took place here.
The final stop was Point du Hoc, which was where the German troops set up bunkers. It was heavily bombed by the Allied forces, which can be seen by all of the craters in the ground which have now been long overgrown.
It was very surreal to walk on the Normandy Beaches. It is well worth the trip if you find yourself in Northern France.