Every year the AVA ( Amis des Veterans Americains = Friends of American Veterans ) asks local people to take into their homes active duty soldiers who are sent to Normandy during the D-Day celebrations.
Some of the soldiers are flag bearers, liasion officers others come to do a parachute jump over La Fière bridge area (unfortunately the weather on June 5th this year, was so bad they had to cancel the jump).
Not only are there American soldiers but also British, Canadian, French and even German soldiers.
You can choose the nationality of soldiers you want to have in your house.
It’s up to you on how many you have over for dinner, then you treat them to Normand hospitality with a free meal, they will usually bring a bottle of liquor to show their gratitude in taking them into your home.
In 2011 on June 2nd we had over at our house 4 of these men to share a Normand meal with us.
I’m sure you can tell which nationality we picked…
I was quite busy the days leading up to June 2nd and even more after that date, but my wife and I were happy to treat these men to a different food than the one served at the temporary base camp. We had great conversations with great food, all the plates were cleaned off in no time !
We will be doing this again in 2012.
I took some time off with my wife (for our 2nd wedding anniversary) and we went to San Diego, while we were there I went to the Veteran’s Day parade (Nov. 11th 2011) in downtown San Diego to show my support, give thanks, and cheer on these brave men & women who gave their best. The number of WW2 veterans is going down quite fast. I also saw veterans of other wars such as Korea, Vietnam, Irak & Afghanistan, let’s not forget that everyday men and women in our armed forces put their lives at risk so we can live in peace & freedom and enjoy the liberties ….that we’ve come to take for granted sometimes
“Let’s Never Forget”
Here are pictures of that parade.
Permanently based in San Diego since 2004 is the U.S.S. Midway. This aircraft carrier has become a museum and a very interesting one at that I must say. I recommend anyone going to the San Diego area for leisure or business to take time and check out this museum you will have a great time and learn quite a few things, it’s a very interesting place to visit.
The U.S.S. Midway is the only remaining US aircraft carrier of the WW2 era that’s not an Essex class ship. When it was completed in 1945, it was the 1st US warship that was unable to use the Panama Canal because of it’s size.
Just across from the U.S.S. Midway there’s a big color statue that represents Alfred Eisenstaedt’s black and white photo of a sailor and a nurse kissing in Times square New York as the announcement of the end of the war on Japan was made by President Truman at seven o’clock.
Sure it’s been 67 years since our troops ran across those beaches, and dropped out of C-47′s in order to bring mayhem to the German occupying forces along the Normandy coast and further inland. American engineers cleaned up a lot of stuff that was left on the beaches here by the Germans such as beach obstacles, barbed-wire and all the blown up guns, but the mines too, un-exploded ordonnances maybe even some dud arial bombs that didn’t detonate once released from the air.
American engineers not only cleared the beach exits so troops could get off the beach, but set up fuel dumps, machine gun emplacements as well as anti-aircraft ground fire (even though the Luftwaffe never really posed a threat) but mainly they are builders build new and wider road sometimes even creating roads where there weren’t any, re-building the port of Cherbourg building ALG’s (advance landing ground = airfield) and as the Normandy campaign came to an end then moved on…
A lot of the stuff was re-used by the local population who had been deprived of quite a few ressources during the German/Nazi occupation of Normandy, these people are going to make used of anything and everything they can get they’re hands on.
Whether it be German equipment or American equipment (often US Army supplies) if it could be used for something it would.
Today if you know where to look you can still see left-overs of the war, many farmers here in Normandy use PSP (pierced steal plating) as a fence or part of a fench, it’s the same PSP that was used for the airfields and runways that were laid out on the ground where U.S. Aircorp would bring in planes.
Everyone knows about the famous monuments that pay tribute to our soldiers at the different places that are high-lighted on the tours given here in Normandy, but there are quite a lot of other monuments and places, that give thanks to US and other allied soldiers that gave their lives for our freedom. No one knows about them. That’s why I think it’s important that people who are interested in the Normandy campaign, but also all of WW2′s European theater of Operations should come to this post and check out what’s new. I’ll try to update every other week with stuff related or about the Landing Beaches and what happened on June 6th and after…
Trevières is a small village located south of the RN13 about 3 to 4 miles inland from Omaha Beach. The 2nd Inf. Div once getting off Omaha beach probably going thru the D-3 exit found themselves going inland the objective : St. LO, by June 10th Trevière had been liberated by American Forces. After a two day assault on the town the Germans backed out, and the people living there were free of mouvment and the 4 year occupation of their town by German forces had ended.
WW1 had taken it’s toll on the French and many small villages have monument dedicated to WW1 in Trevières they have their monument for the “great war” as it was known, well enemy shells started raining down on the town as American advanced further inland and a shell burst hit their WW1 monument, the townsfolk decided that they would leave the statue in it’s original state so that people would remember the horrible fighting that happened in and around that area.
The pictures show the damaged monument(below) and the 2nd Infantry’s monument (above) as well.
I just wanted to show you that the June 6th ceremonies here are very important…it’s been 67 years but we don’t forget and won’t forget !
Years are going by and these men aren’t immortal but my encounter with them and the stories they’ve told me has enriched me greatly…
If you ever get the chance to meet a WW2 vet never forget to thank them for what they did. Ask plenty of questions let them tell you their stories they have amazing tales…
As you can see American-dday-tours website has been re-vamped, we’re going to have a lot of interesting things to read about and look at too. Since we’re based in the heartland of the Cotentin Pennisula there are plenty of things that I’d like to share with you and lots of things to see as well.
This winter I’ll have more free time and I’ll go around the countryside taking pictures here & there to show you the beautiful normand countryside and also to show you that those brave men who fought here 67 years ago haven’t been forgotten.