June 6, 2008

Blogging from Normandy on D-Day.

Nina writes (with many photos):
Exactly on the midnight of this day, in 1944, the Normandy Invasion began. D-Day. And it started with the Allied army capture of this bridge. The first soldier to die in the invasion, Lt. Brotheridge, is buried nearby. The family Gondree installed a commemorative plaque by his grave. They live in the house that was the first to be liberated during the invasion. This house.

086 copy, originally uploaded by Nina Camic.

Much more at the link.


AllenS said...

Thank you, Nina, Ann.

vbspurs said...

I saw this last night on FNC, but did you know that Normandy has opened a 9/11 exhibit in their D-Day Museum?

From BCN:

Notes the article: "A section of the exhibit on the world response features a headline from Le Monde newspaper proclaiming: "Nous sommes tous des Americains" (We are all Americans), epitomizing European solidarity with a traumatized United States."

The Fox segment showed locals previewing the exhibits, and one middle-aged chap said, "America holds a very special place in Normandy's heart."

I tell you, that almost made me cry.

I'm reminded that this past 9/11, a French channel devoted that day to showing a documentary about American soldiers raping French civilians during their liberation. The way they portrayed it, you'd have thought the US military had gone there simply to have their sadistic jollies with French women, and nothing else.

On that day, of all days, I thought, how obscene.

Well, today that exhibit more than made up for it, even if it's only one section of France so doing.

Merci, Normandie. Thank you, Nina.


OldGrouchy said...

Major Howard of the Ox and Bows led his company onto that small landing zone near the house shown in that photo. His telling of the death of Lt. Brotheridge is most poignant. That French family was itself quite brave themselves on that fateful day 64-years ago.

Padre Steve said...

God bless the heroes of the greatest generation! Let's continue to pray for all of those who gave all for the freedom we enjoy!

Beth said...

My brothers are marking this day on their MySpace pages -- I grabbed a photo of my dad from them and am using it for the rest of today as my blogger image, for the comments. (Just so you know that I haven't had a sex change operation and done any time-traveling.)

Anyway, I join Frank and Mick, my brothers, in honoring Patrick, my father, and his eight siblings (total seven boys, two girls), all of whom served in WWII, along with his father as well, and my mother's father and brother. And here's to my mom for holding down the homefront with three small kids--one of them born after Dad shipped out.

LutherM said...

When I was very young , I was convinced, based only on the propaganda I heard, that we were going to win the war. I knew my father was overseas at the time - I supposed that he was in England - but, since he was a Major in the Army Air Force, and since I believed that he was in God's care, I wasn't worried about him. (He died in January, 1945, and is buried in the U.S. Military Cemetery outside of Cambridge, England. It's a beautiful location, overlooking the University, with Ely Cathedral visible in the distance.)
To me, June 6, 1944 seemed like just another day, another victory,
August 14, 1945 was a big day. President Truman announced the news that the Japs had surrendered - which meant that the war was OVER.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Old Grouchy... close. it's

Ox and Bucks.

Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

I've been going to Normandy for more than 30 years. 77 and 2006 being dates I remember. I truly dislike the Parisans. but the folks in Normandy then and now still like Ami's. The last time I was there, I stayed with M Armand. He had been 14 at the time of the landing and was 76 then. He lives on a dairy behind beach exit D-1 at Vierville. Made famous in "Saving Private Ryan". He fondly remembers getting liberated.

Lutherm. God Bless. Haven't seen that cemetary, but the US one above Omaha is a thing of beauty. You saw it in "Saving Private Ryan".

Golf course lawn, French and American flags flying. overlooking the beach. headstones aligned so that whereever you stand, the alignment in all directions is perfect.


Meade said...


The Drill SGT said...

One can not discuss Omaha beach without mentioning A Co, 116th Inf, VA NG 29th Div

They landed in the first wave on D-Day Omaha. They landed at the right place at the right time on a beach were everybody else had drifted left.

SLAM Marshall wrote their story in this piece. The largest loss of life for a single town on a single day in any US war. Bedford VA


OldGrouchy said...

Drill Sgt: You are correct, it was Company D of the Ox and Bucks, Major John Howard commanding!

If anyone is interested, Stephen Ambrose's history of that engagement, "Pegasus Bridge," is fascinating, a good history.

All those American, British, and Canadian soldiers deserve our remembered thanks for their valiant efforts on D-Day!

The Drill SGT said...

Thanks Meade.

Not a great shot of Normandy, but the general themes of those historic locations comes though.

Meade said...

Thank you, SGT, for the link to the Marshall article. Extremely moving.

Trooper York said...

Yogi Berra served in the Navy during the Invasion and was in a LST I think.

vbspurs said...

Guys? Those of you with dads who served in WWII and 'Nam, and those of you who served in 'Nam too?

Thanks. So very much.


reader_iam said...

On June 6, 1968, D-Day was 24 years in the past. For some people of that era, that was impossibly long ago. If he or she were, for example 17-ish, it preceded the very first breath of his or her life by 7-ish (give or take months on either side) years.

On June 6, 2008, the murder-assassination of Robert F. Kennedy is 40 years in the past. For someone who is, for example, 17-ish, it preceded the very first breath of life by 23-ish (give or take months or either side).

There's so much food for thought there, it's hard to figure out where to start on the buffet.


(I do remember the assassinations of MLK and RFK, ftr. Weird or not, that's so; a product of individual circumstances.

The spurs for my ruminations here lie elsewhere.)

Kirby Olson said...

Most of the architecture in that area was flattened. But if you get just wide of the invasion you find charming and intact villages again such as Villefranche sur Mer.

Kirby Olson said...

I can't remember if it's Villefrance sur Mer.