Normandy Prepares to Honor D-Day Anniversary


On June 6, 1944, Allied soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy in an attempt to free Europe from the Nazi onslaught. Normandy commemorates this date every year, but this 65th anniversary promises to be especially poignant. For many WWII veterans, this will be the last big anniversary they attend, and towns and museums will be hosting events along the coast to commemorate this momentous day.

Highlights will include official ceremonies in the American and Anglo-Canadian landing sectors; 25 simultaneous firework displays from one end of the landing beaches to the other; a parachute drop and glider demonstration; and a WWII vehicle procession through Bayeux, the first city in France to be liberated.

Travelers can visit the American Cemetery and see the 9,386 white crosses in perfect alignment. Omaha, Utah and Juno Beach each have a museum providing insight into the assault through collections and archive film footage. Arromanches’ artificial port is also explained in a museum facing the remains of this gigantic undertaking. In Sainte-Mère Eglise, the famous drop-point the night before the landings, you can see an actual WACO glider, while further inland, the Memorial of Coudehard-Montormel describes the fighting that brought the Battle of Normandy to an end. As of June 2009, guests will be able to rent a multimedia PDA/GPS that provides explanations, archive photos and videos corresponding to each point of interest in the Sainte-Mère-Eglise, Utah beach sector.



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