A Reminder from the Past on Veterans’ Day.
Originally posted on R. Doug Wicker — Author:
We arrived in Cherbourg, France, the day after Saint-Malo and our day trip to the tidal island of Mont Saint-Michel and the medieval walled city of Dinan. Cherbourg’s big claim to fame was that it was the first stop after leaving Southampton, England, made by the RMS Titanic. The RMS Titanic struck an iceberg at 23:40 hours on April 14, and succumbed to the resulting damage by disappearing beneath the icy Atlantic waves some two hours and forty minutes later, breaking apart and heading to the bottom at 02:20 hours on April 15. The year was 1912—just one week shy of 100 years from when our ship passed over the Titanic’s watery grave at 02:00 hours on the morning of April 8 as we made our way from Bermuda to Saint-Malo. For more on that tragic day, read this article on the Sinking of the RMS Titanic.
But the RMS Titanic was not our only brush with historical tragedy this trip. A far worse loss of life occurred on the night of June 5 and throughout the day of June 6, 1944. The location of this tragedy was along a 62-mile strip of sand and cliffs lining the beaches of Normandy, France.
No trip to Normandy is complete without a pilgrimage to the beaches that took the brunt of the great D-Day Invasion of World War II. There were five invasion beaches in all stretching over a 62-mile front—Juno (Canadian and United Kingdom Forces), Gold (United Kingdom), Sword (United Kingdom and Free French Forces), Utah (United States) and (most infamously) Omaha (United States).