This is the first of of a series of three posts about a trip this week to Normandy. The Normandy American Cemetery is one of 14 permanent World War II cemeteries maintained on foreign soil. On a cold April morning, this memorial high atop a seaside cliff was achingly-beautiful in the mist and fog. I've visited this site three times and am always touched by its beauty, as well as the tributes to the remarkable courage and bravery of those who died fighting for freedom in WWII.
The memorial - A semi-circular colonnade is made of limestone from the Cote d'Or region of France, while plinths and steps are formed of granite from Brittany. At either end of the colonnade, various World War II battle maps are engraved in stone. A magnificent 22-foot bronze sculpture depicts "The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves." Click photos to enlarge.
Mist and fog shroud white marble crosses honouring the 9,387 servicemen buried here. The Garden of the Missing, located behind the Memorial, contains names of 1,557 people from 49 of the 50 American states, the District of Columbia and Guam. Their remains have not been recovered or positively identified.
The mosaic on the Chapel's ceiling symbolises America blessing her sons as they depart by sea and air to fight for freedom. A grateful France is shown bestowing a laurel wreath upon the dead who gave their lives to liberate Europe.
Words can't do justice
to those valiant men who fought
and rescued freedom