Normandy: Omaha Beach American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer

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Pixabay CC
© Pixabay CC

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 5 June 2024, updated on 5 June 2024

Situated between Arromanches and Grandcamp Maisy on the Normandy coast, the Omaha Beach American cemetery is a place of remembrance. The commemorations of the 80th anniversary of the Normandy Landings in 2024 provide an opportunity to rediscover this place of remembrance.

Here, in a green area perched on a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach, almost 10,000 white crosses, perfectly aligned, point towards America.

Spread over 70 hectares, the Omaha cemetery contains the graves of the American soldiers who sacrificed their lives for freedom in the Second World War, during the first episode of the Battle of Normandy on 6 June 1944.

The 5 landing beaches

In addition to Omaha Beach, the landing beaches of Sword Beach, Juno Beach, Gold Beach and Utah Beach were the theatres of the largest airborne military operation of all time.

Among these places of remembrance, Omaha Beach is the place where the Allies lost the most troops. It is also a little corner of America on French soil: ceded to the United States, these Normandy lands are managed by the American Battle Monuments Commission.

Memorial

In addition to this field of graves, the Omaha Beach site - code name for one of the 5 sectors of the Allied landings - is home to a semi-circular memorial, at the centre of which is a bronze statue representing ‘the Spirit of American Youth rising from the waves’. A short distance away is a chapel and an orientation table showing the beaches where the Allied forces landed in June 1944. You can also visit the museum, which depicts the daily lives of all those soldiers who came to France to ensure freedom. Films, reconstructions, collections of uniforms, weapons and vehicles will plunge you into the heart of the history of the D-Day landings.

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