250,000 If by Sea

Approach from the Sea, Les Braves Monument at Omaha Beach

This monument at Omaha Beach is a stainless steel sculpture about the action of D-Day on June 6, 1944.
In a play on the tale of Paul Revere’s storied ride in 1775, this time we came by land, air and sea and clobbered the enemy. Yes, D-Day was brutal and difficult with a considerable loss of life, but the Allies were victorious and freed the populace from oppression. And while I am sorry so many died, they did not give their lives in vain.
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Entrance, US Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer

Entrance for US Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer

The original cemetery was close to here, but it was moved to this site after the war to be closer to Omaha Beach. It honors those who died in World War II and contains 9,386 World War II veterans and one from World War I. Compared to neighboring cemeteries of La Cambe and others it is relatively small.
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Strongpoint at Asnelles

Strongpoint at Gold Beach Asnelles

This hardened strongpoint was used to fire on invaders at the waterline. Behind it are a series of buried bunkers for command and control units which sit under a garden. British troops landed here and during the course of D-Day, many of the houses here were damaged or destroyed. The western end of the mulberry harbor was here
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Bombs Away!

Pointe du Hoc Bomb Craters

Pointe du Hoc was a fortified artillery position at the top of 100 foot high cliffs above Omaha Beach. The 155mm guns had a 30-40km range and could endanger attackers in the English Channel as well as defend both Utah and Omaha beaches. But the artillery was removed by the defenders due to heavy bombing. A neighboring battery at Grandcamp-Maisy remained active until June 9 when it was captured by Rangers moving overland. Pointe du Hoc’s battery sits as it was in June 1944, complete with bomb craters and destroyed bunkers.
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Fortified Gunner’s Nest: Omaha Beach

This is one of the silenced seaside bunkers I sought out when visiting in the 80’s. It looks as it did then, completely bare and open to the elements and yet still reeking of death.
On the morning of June 6, 1944, there was at least one man in here busily feeding a machine gun installed to kill invaders. Such positions are vulnerable to grenades and bazooka rounds and the bravery of US troops put this position out of action. Without their efforts a lot more of our guys might have been casualties.

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DMV National Guard Monument on Bunker

National Guard Monument

During the summer of 1940. our government ordered the National Guard into service to prepare for World War 2. The 29th Infantry Division of DC, Maryland, and Virginia became one of the two assault divisions tasked with overcoming the German defenders during the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944.
This monument commemorates their actions at Charlie Sector, the westernmost part of Omaha Beach. Today they inspire other National Guard members, one of whom was recently in my home.
He was brought to tears by finally seeing the monument, so I made him a print. It was the least I could do. Our Veterans have done so much for this country, and to them, it was just a chance to do their jobs.
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North of Omaha Beach: Les Bateaux

St Honorinne des Pertes

Cliffs above Les Bateaux give cliff walkers a chance to see far across the English Channel. England is about 90 miles distant, or just over the horizon from where I was standing. Looking through binoculars, I could just barely make out the foggy shores of Britain and the Isle of Wight.
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Mulberry Harbor Arromanches

Arromanches Beach

This is Arromanches with the remnants of Mulberry Harbor B at low tide. As time has passed and the harbor is hammered with storms at high tide, the large concrete caissons have shifted position ever so slightly. Still, 70 years after they were placed here to form an artificial harbor, many of the 60-80 foot tall Phoenixes still stand silently in the shallow waters of the bay. These are Historic Waters.
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