Day 3, June 12, 2006, Normandy 1028 hours
We're on the road, driving to Arromanches, the D-Day beaches, and Caen. I'm very excited to see Omaha Beach and the museum. I wanna walk barefoot on the sand and dangle my feet in the surf. I bet I'll cry at the cemetery, but it's okay. Cemeteries are to be cried over. I need to remember to take pictures. almost 10000 graves...it still amazes me what sacrifices these men and women made to keep us free today. Absolutely unfathomable. I wonder what it ,ust have been like to invade Normandy, either as a paratrooper (CURRAHEE!) or as an infantryman. It must have been fucking scary for those guys; I know that some of those soldiers were my age or even younger.
I'm nervous I'll see their ghosts on the beach. Soldiers crying out for help and here I am unable to do anything to aid them...
Last night I slept well; but go a little bit homesick and teary; listened to Death Cab for Cutie "A movie script ending" and "Title and Registration" on repeat, and dreamed of the church scene from Saving Private Ryan. Woke up feeling calmed and soothed. *SIGH* Why must Giovanni Ribisi be so damn WONDERFUL? I must know! He played Medic Wade in SPR so damn well; his death scene was one of the most harrowing and heartbreaking pieces of film I have ever seen. God bless him. I mustrent some of his other films ocne I return home to the States. *SIGH* I'm on a Vonni fix and I can't stop! He's so CUTE!
Aha I forgot! We're going to Pointe du Hoc as well! That's where the 2nd Ranger Division scaled that really high cliff and got it back from the Germans, bless em, they were do damn BRAVE! I would ave been scared to death; it's a 1000 foot cliff straight above the ocean. (can I get a woot w00t for the Rangers, they rock!)
Just got done seeing Arromanches (it's where the museum is). The museum was very interesting. Took pix of paratroopers and Rangers (models of course).
I got patches from the 101st Airborne Division (The Screaming Eagles, my favorite division) and also from the 501st Parachute division. I wanted a patch from the 506th but there were none! merde.
So many graves... it stunned me. The fact that 9387 men and women could give their lives for people like me and my friends still blows my mind. Just think...if this invasion had failed we'd be speaking German right now, maybe. I know I wouldn't exist, as I am Jewish and thusly unfit to live. according to Hitler.
As I stood there lookig at all the crosses and Stars of David I felt an immense sense of peace, as if the soldiers were telling me "it's all right. we're safe. everything's okay..." There was a gentle breeze, and I could hear a music box playing the Star Spangld Banner.
Me and my friend Erin sat on a wall overlooking the beach and talked about how we felt. She too felt peace from the surroundings; she told me the soldiers had told her tht everything was okay and that somene who she believes is her Great Grandma issafe with them.
I looked out over the ocean and imagined it colored crimson from blood, crashing on the beach. I saw no "hedgehog" beach obstacles (x shaped croses) as I thought I would have. Sitting there amidst the graves I heard nothing but a steady static.
I didn't get to walk on Omaha Beach, damn it.
"Do not be afraid, I am with you/I have called you each by name/do not be afraid/ I will give you hope/Be still and know that I am God..."
I got on the bus to Pointe du oc, put on Filter's "Where do we go from here?" and cried.
Pointe du Hoc-Bomb craters and German bunkers and BIG fuckin mortars!I got to crawl into a few wrecked German bunkers; they felt ice and cool compared to the outside, which was stifling.
As with the cemetery, I felt peace when I was there. It was quiet and I could hear the waves crashing on the shore. To my relief I did not hear or see any ghost soldiers.
I walked along the path to a lookout point alone, and I could sense someone walking with me. The breeze was blowing again. I could hear someone telling me "everything's alright."
Pointe du Hoc is home to a memorial honoring the 2nd Ranger Division, who scaled the cliff there in two days, freeing it from the Germans. Before they freed it, and 88" cannon (I think) was quickly taking out any American advances on the beach.