As promised yesterday, here are some more snaps from Utah Beach in Normandy. For those of you who are just now joining my great overseas adventure, last weekend, Soldier Boy and I hightailed it to Normandy, France. We'd initially wanted to go on 6-June for the 70-year anniversary of the D-Day invasions, but as we tend to travel extremely last minute, we couldn't find lodging and had to scrap out plans. We spent the 4th of July in the American Military Cemetery in Normandy, just adjacent to Omaha Beach and it was ridiculously haunting.
On this morning, we woke early and hopped in the car (we stayed in Carentan… there is a "Band of Brothers" episode based in this town, with is part of the reason that we decided to stay here), and planned to drive up to Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc and end up on Omaha Beach. We did exactly this, but added in a few museums and only ended up on Omaha Beach for a hot 2 minutes because it was a day full of sudden downpours and we were clearly not dressed for such weather.
Utah Beach was our only rain-free stop and we spent hours climbing the bunkers, picking up shells, and watching the horses run around on the beach. It was truly hard to imagine how different the beach must have looked 70 years ago, even with the bunkers still in place. There was a letter, written by a girlfriend to her soldier boyfriend who was part of the invasion in the Utah Beach Memorial Museum that was found floating in the channel after the attack and managed to remain mostly preserved. The last paragraph reads, "Darling, there are so many little things I would like to know about you so I would know things to write about, but know that when I see you we can talk about them, so I am starting a list so that someday when we are together, I won't forget to talk about them. If the next time is the same as it was the last time, neither of us thought much about asking questions."
While it ends rather saucily, the sentiments are much the same as my sentiments last spring when Soldier Boy was deployed and kind of reminded me of looking through my grandparents' WWII letters last summer. This day was definitely a lesson on how much things change, but how much they stay the same…
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