Thursday, June 6, 2013

June 6th

Low Tide, Normandy, 9"x12", oil on canvas panel,
©2013 Cindy Greene

Most Americans and Europeans over 40 have a pretty good idea of the meaning of "June 6." The sacrifice made by thousands of men to invade the beaches of Normandy to stop Hitler's march through the world is well known to many of those under 40 as well.

Although I have watched many documentaries about D-Day and the Normandy Invasion, I never knew what a Normandy beach looked like on a non-invasion day. When our daughter Hilary spent six weeks last summer volunteering in the tiny village of Merville-Franceville-LaPlage, she ran on the local beaches every day. Her photographs of the long, FLAT, shallow (and did I mention flat?) beaches gave me a view and understanding I never had before of the difficulty of landing an invasion force. Those men had to cross a lot of beach before reaching any sort of cover.

Above is a painting I did from one of her photographs, showing part of the Merville beach. This beach is just north of Sword Beach, where the British 3rd Infantry landed in their quest to get to Caen. Hilary blogged about her visit to the Pegasus Bridge Memorial here; it is only a mile or so from where she lived last summer.

Below are a few more of her amazing pictures; I hope she doesn't mind me sharing them. I look forward to visiting Normandy in person. Meanwhile, I salute and am thankful for those who moved onto these beautiful long, flat beaches on June 6, 1944, many of whom never went home.

©Hilary Greene 2013

©Hilary Greene 2013
©Hilary Greene 2013


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