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Friday, July 31, 2015

The Beaches of Normandy ...Impressions of France part 7

'Peace'                8x10              pastel                ©Karen Margulis
available for purchase $150
We were in Normandy. The connection we have to this place was palpable.  From the US, Canadian and British flags flying alongside the French flag to the expressions of gratitude from the locals, it was hard not to be reminded of history....of D-Day. Even at the manor, a mile form the beach we imagined what it must have felt like to be in the village of Meuvaines during the invasion. Was the home used for the war effort?  We were reminded of history everyday. We felt it and it became real.


D-day was no longer just a movie or a book. The evidence was all around us. It was incredibly moving and emotional to stand on those beaches....now peaceful ... and imagine the bravery of those who fought.

'Normandy Beach Impressions I'            5x7         plein air    $75

 We took a day to visit the beaches of Normandy and pay our respects. We began with a stop at Juno beach. This was the Canadian beach and since there were four Canadians in our group it was important to visit.  Here in an excerpt from www.junobeach.info

"On D-Day, June 6, 1944, “Operation Overlord”, the long-awaited invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe, began with Allied armies from the U.S., Britain and Canada landing on the coast of Normandy. On D-Day, the 3rdCanadian Infantry Division landed on Juno Beach. The Canadian assault troops stormed ashore in the face of fierce opposition from German strongholds and mined beach obstacles. The soldiers raced across the wide-open beaches swept with machine gun fire, and stormed the gun positions. In fierce hand-to-hand fighting, they fought their way into the towns of Bernières, Courseulles and St. Aubin and then advanced inland, securing a critical bridgehead for the allied invasion. The victory was a turning point in World War II and led to the liberation of Europe and the defeat of Nazi Germany."



Juno Beach

Next we stopped at the American Cemetery memorial.  The cemetery sits high on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach. I was surprised at how high the bluff was. It was hard to imagine what it must have been like on D-Day. Seeing it firsthand was sobering.  Hearing the bells toll and seeing the rows and rows of crosses and stars was difficult. It was not an easy visit but I am glad we did it.

The bluff overlooking Omaha Beach

"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: 
those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here."
Colonel George A. Taylor - 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Division





For an interesting read about the beaches of Normandy and the D-Day invasion check out this article from the Smithsonian Magazine. Click here to read. 


The beaches of Normandy are now at peace. They are some of the most beautiful stretches of sand and sea that I have ever seen. Children now splash in the surf and play in the sand. Artists come to paint. I never really had Normandy on my bucket list but it now holds a special place in my heart and soul.



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2 comments:

Christine Troyer said...

Bless you, Karen, for sharing and honoring those who fought for humanity.

Karen said...

I forgot to give the coupon code for the 25% discount on the demos. Use coupon code SUMMERSAVINGS