Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Two invasions

It was a sobering weekend wandering in and out of museums dedicated to different aspects of D-Day.

I cried when I saw the faces of those young men in that boat knowing that within a few hours many of them would be dead. Others would die a few days later of injuries.

D-Day was incredible maneuver with a co-operation between nations like no other. Sixteen nations sent troops and equipment. The English created a harbor for the landing within hours. There men died in record numbers too.

Today those beaches are peaceful. The sand is smooth, without blood, without spent shells. Anyone, who didn't know the history of D-Day, might think of it as a vacation spot, a place to spread their blankets and eat a picnic, build sand castles and play in the waves.

Of  many of those that died because of the invasion 9000+ are buried here, their names on each cross or star of David. A few crosses say "they are known only to God."

Each cross represents a devastated family: mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, wives whose lives were never the same.

As is said, they made the ultimate sacrifice in what was probably the last necessary war.

The same weekend we saw the Bayeux tapestry, an embroidered version of an earlier invasion led by William the Conqueror or Guillaume le Bâtard in French. He invaded England to grab the throne from Harald who had promised it to Guillaume, albeit it under stress.

Over 2000 people on average walk by the 70-meter/230 foot piece of linen. The tapestry was the 1066 version of the nightly news. Toward the end on the bottom panel are bodies with arrows, bodies missing limbs, bodies decapitated. The weapons in 1066 were far less sophisticated than in 1944 but still deadly. Those death blows were received from hand-to-hand combat with hatchets and arrows not powerful guns.

Those soldiers were just as dead, too early in their lives.

Near the harbor that the British built, was this grafetti. What a powerful message after seeing so much destruction of human life.

This is a dueling blog with my husband. http://lovinglifeineurope.blogspot.fr/2016/05/mans-inclination-to-invade.html


Maria said...

A Spaniard, Galician from Serra de Outes, about thirty kilometers away from here, was the only Spaniard to die on D-Day in Normandy. His was a culmination of bad luck that led him there. His remains were sent back to his village, where he was buried.

DL NELSON said...

Many Americans had the bodies of their loved ones brought back as well.