July 14, 2014. D-Day plus 70 years, 1 month and 8 days.
Beginning with an early morning trip to the Canadian War Cemetery at Beny-Sur-Mer, our day in the Normandy landing zones included visits to:
- Juno Beach at Beny-Sur-Mer, and Courseulles Sur-Mer,
- Gold Beach, a British landing zone, at Arromanches,
- the German coastal defence batteries at Longues-sur-Mer,
- Ardenne Abbey, the scene of the cold-blooded murder of 20 Canadian soldiers by Nazi SS Panzer Division troops on June 7-8, 1944.
I will deal with each of these in separate posts
It was also just over a month after the celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy. The anniversary itself had been marked by commemorations and special events all along the Normandy coastline. World leaders had attended an international ceremony on Sword Beach on June 6. There hundreds of gathered veterans heard French president Francois Hollande remind the world that:
“The 6th June is not a day like others: it is not just the longest day or a day to remember the dead, but a day for the living to keep the promise written with the blood of the fighters, to be loyal to their sacrifice by building a world that is fairer and more human.”
CBC TV’s broadcast of the anniversary ceremonies are featured HERE. The video below is from Panzer Pictures and chronicles some of the events and celebrations held in Normandy in June 2014 from a tourist’s prospective. Much of it is raw and unedited. Enjoy!
Hosted by YouTube, there are three parts to this feature. Follow the prompts when the video concludes to see parts 2 and 3.