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Den Haag Links

June 2001
Memorial Weekend Tour - Somme, France
Assorted Great War Sites in the Somme Region
Beaumont-Hamel - Newfoundland Memorial
Normandy, France and the D-Day Invasion Beaches
Bayeux Invasion Museum
The Pointe-du-Hoc
Normandy American Cemetary - Omaha Beach
Omaha Beach - Charlie and Dog Green
Longues-Sur-Mer Battery
Mulberry-B Artificial Harbor
Wurzburg-Riese Radar Station
Caen: City of William the Conqueror
La Ferte Alais Airshow
Other Months
Index page

Normandy American Cemetery - Omaha Beach
Tuesday, June 05, 2001; posted by Paris

In the afternoon we visited the American Cemetery. It is 172.5 acres and one of 14 permanent American WWII cemeteries built on foreign soil. Free use as a permanent burial ground was granted by the government of France in perpetuity without charge or taxation. The cemetery is maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission - an independent agency of the Executive Branch of the US government.

The cemetery is rectangular in shape, bordered on one side and overlooking Omaha beach. The main paths are laid out in the form of a Latin cross. Filling most of the eastern end of the cemetery is a semi-circular memorial with a memorial garden a Tablets of the Missing to the rear. Facing west, the memorial overlooks a large reflecting pool, two flagpoles, from which the American flag flies daily, the graves areas and the chapel. The graves area contains ten grave plots, five on each side of the main mall. Interred within them are the remains of 9,387 servicemen and women.

The cemetery was very busy, and very quiet. Quite a somber place.

Rows of graves with little American and French flags. There were a number of people laying wreathes and flowers.

Those of Jewish decent have a star of David monument.

No matter which direction one looks, the grave markers are in alignment.

On the interior walls of the loggias in the Memorial are maps engraved in stone and embellished with colored enamels which show the various military operations. This one is entitled "Military Operations in Western Europe, 6 June 1944 - 8 May 1945."

This is the Memorial, which consists of a semi-circular colonnade with a loggia housing battle maps at each end (see above) and a large bronze sculpture in the open. On the other side of the memorial is the memorial garden and Tablets of the Missing. The Memorial faces the chapel at the other end of the cemetery.