A cruise aboard Silversea's Silver Whisper planned a shore excursion that enabled us to relive one of the most historic events of World War II. Departing the pier in Honfleur, France we drove to the small seaside town of Arromanches via the D-Day landing beaches of Sword, Juno and Gold.
In Arromanches, we visited the Invasion Museum, dedicated to the largest landing operation in history…the June 6, 1944 invasion when the Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy to attack the German lines. During our visit, we saw films and models that re-created the entire operation along the D-Day beaches.
EXHIBIT IN THE INVASION MUSESUM
After a typical French lunch at La Chenevière, a historic chateau located near Omaha Beach, we visited Colleville-sur-Mer, site of the American Cemetery.
LA CHENEVIERE CHATEAU
The majority of the nearly 10,000 American soldiers killed at Omaha Beach are buried in this 170-acre cemetery on land given to the United States by France as a token of her gratitude.
LES BRAVES MEMORIAL ON OMAHA BEACH
Here, 9,386 marble crosses and Stars of David are aligned on a plateau above the beach. A memorial contains the Tablets of the Missing, and a map outlines the battle sites of the Normandy beaches.
9386 CROSSES AND STARS OF DAVID IN THE AMERICAN CEMETERY
A Silver Whisper passenger laid a wreath at the base of the memorial, Taps was played over the loud speaker, and hundreds of visitors from all over the world stood with hand over heart as the Americans sang the Star Spangled Banner.
SILVER WHISPER PASSENGER LAYS A WREATH AT MEMORIAL
At the gravesite of Pvt. Raymond Baumgard, my husband recited the Mourner's Kaddish to memorialize the sacrifice that this young Ohio soldier (whom he had never met) made for our country.
DR. IRVIN SILVERSTEIN RECITES THE KADDISH (JEWISH MOURNER'S PRAYER)
Ah yes…travel truly is the bitter with the sweet.
JANET STEINBERG is an award-winning Travel Writer, International Travel Consultant, and winner of 40 national Travel Writing Awards.