D-Day + 65 Years

June 6th marks the 65th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy. I’m hardly the first to note it, but as a Canadian and someone with an interest in military history, I feel obliged.

I’ve also been to Normandy, in May 1997 on one of my backpacking trips around Europe. Three of us rented a little Renault and visited Omaha Beach with it’s cliffs and huge American cemetary, Juno (the Canadian beach) with it’s infamous seawall, and a few kilometres inland from Juno, the first of the Canadian WW2 cemetaries, maintained by the Commonwealth Wargraves Commission to it’s usual impecable standards. That first Canadian cemetary is out on a side road these days, amongst the grain fields, and very quiet. Every grave had a flowering plant at the base of the headstone, and the plantings along the front wall were in full flower. It wasn’t a grand stone memorial like Vimy Ridge or the Menin Gate, but in it’s own way it was as spectacular and fitting.

Image courtesy Wikipedia – Canadian troops of W Beach Commando inbound to Juno Beach, morning of June 6 1944. I can’t help but wonder how many of the men in this photo are resting under those flowers in Normandy.

By Brian Burger

Started this site way, way back in November 1998, when the web was young. It's still here, and so am I.

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