Day 1042 – Happy Memorial Day

Which somehow seems an odd thing to say when you are remembering the deaths of millions of young men in battles.

American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandie. 

The 73rd anniversary of the D Day Invasions is coming up June 6 so Memorial Day seems like a good time to revisit the invasion sites in Normandy and remember the many brave young men who died there so long ago. 

Bytw Rick Stevens visits all the places we want to in Normandie including Rouen the Norse capital and of course d Day sites. 

Arrowmanches les Bains, Normandy, France in the heart of the invasion zone.  

Last night I watched a Pbs show about a group of D Day survivors who returned to Allemanche and the landing beaches on the 75th Anniversary in 2014. They had not wanted to go do fear the French would reject them. 

The D-Day Landing map 

It was so touching to see how much the French of all ages opened their arms to the returning soldiers now extremely old men giving them many hugs and kisses and thanking them for giving them their freedom that they still enjoy 70 years later. In Normandy they still celebrate the arrival of the Allies every June 6 so that it will never be forgotten. 

 The Pegasus Bridge Commander, General Hill, and the US Divisions who were at Normandy

The one of the old men said they were not the Beatles but to the French of Normandy they were something better. Men who had fought and died to free the French. Such a touching show. 

 This is the Canadian WW2 Cemetery at Bien Sur Mer. A touching spot it’s a beautiful parklike  place where 70 years later everything is in pristine condition bushes trimmed gravestones scrubbed and flowers planted everywhere. 

The Canadian Museum at Juno Beach. Gleaming in the afternoon sunshine if viewed from the air it looks like a large maple leaf. The exhibits are all up to date state of the art interactive exhibits.  It sits on the bluff above the beaches and La Manche -the Arm- what the French call the English Channel. 

Pegasus Bridge. The spot where the Brits lead by Gen Hill parachuted into Caen, Normandy the DAY BEFORE the  D Day Invasions. And of course many died there. Some never touched the ground. One hung from the church tower acting like he was dead and lived to tell the story. Brave Man!!

This fascinating museum is shaped like one of the gliders they parachuted out of. 

Pock marked with bullet holes, Eglise de Ranville, the site of another allied cemetery, where even on a cold grey November day there were bright flowers marking the graves. This Ranville, Basse-Normandy, France claims to be the first village freed by the Allies in June 6 1944. 

Another Map of the D Day Invasion. 

The full spread from my sketchbook. 


And a journal page of a few other places we visited on our trip to Normandy to the D Day sites.  

Happy Memorial Day! 

Margaret xoxoxo whose going to listen to old WW 2 movies on TCM while she paints.  #usk #urbansketcher #traveljournal #watercolor #aquarelle #ink #strathmore #viking #strathmore500 #arrowmanches #normandy #normandie #normandietourisme #vikingcruises #PegasusBridge #bayeux #Ranville #beny-sur-mer #Rouen #omahabeach #junobeach #dday #alliedinvasion 

Day 496 – 🇫🇷🇫🇷 The French remember🇫🇷🇫🇷

  The Canadian D Day cemetery at Bény Sur Mer. It seems appropriate to post it today with the fighting in Paris. War again in France. Our guides grandfather was a French resistance fighter killed by the SS when he was caught. 

Today I heard a silly journalist on CNN say Parisians were not used to fighting in their streets. If you asked our guide she would tell you they still remember WW2. Bullet holes from WW2 still pock mark the buildings. The church at Ranville was full of bullet holes and huge chunks of it were missing from WW2 fighting.  

🇫🇷 The French remember with three museums to the D Day invasions. This is the Canadian museum at Juno Beach were 5000 Canadians died.

🇫🇷 There’s one at the American invasions site and one at Pegasus Bridges were British paratroopers had to seize a bridge BEFORE the D Day invasion. 

🇫🇷Our guide’s grandmother found bodies of 132 Canadian POWs who were murdered and buried in a mass grave in her yard.  They still find WW2 bodies routinely in Normandy. So yes they remember!! 

Stay tuned for more Frenxh sketches. There are at least 33 of them. 😳

Thanks for reading.

Margaret xxx

Day 496 – 🇫🇷🇫🇷 The French remember🇫🇷🇫🇷

  The Canadian D Day cemetery at Bény Sur Mer. It seems appropriate to post it today with the fighting in Paris. War again in France. Our guides grandfather was a French resistance fighter killed by the SS when he was caught. 

Today I heard a silly journalist on CNN say Parisians were not used to fighting in their streets. If you asked our guide she would tell you they still remember WW2. Bullet holes from WW2 still pock mark the buildings. The church at Ranville was full of bullet holes and huge chunks of it were missing from WW2 fighting.  

🇫🇷 The French remember with three museums to the D Day invasions. This is the Canadian museum at Juno Beach were 5000 Canadians died.

🇫🇷 There’s one at the American invasions site and one at Pegasus Bridges were British paratroopers had to seize a bridge BEFORE the D Day invasion. 

🇫🇷Our guide’s grandmother found bodies of 132 Canadian POWs who were murdered and buried in a mass grave in her yard.  They still find WW2 bodies routinely in Normandy. So yes they remember!!