06 June 2014

La chanson d'automne

Courseulles-sur-Mer
Juno Beach Centre
D-Day Remnants
Bunker
Juno Beach
Juno Beach Today
Charlie 1
Reflecting at Juno
Allied Forces Memorial
Les sanglots longs
Du violon
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur
Monotone.
(Paul Verlaine, 1866)

Seventy years ago, BBC broadcast Verlaine's poem over the radio to inform the French Resistance the D-Day operations were to begin. On June 6, 1944, Canadian troops landed at Juno Beach as part of the Allied Force's Operation Overlord to invade German-occupied Europe during the Second World War.

Driving in through the quiet town of Courseulles-sur-Mer and over to Juno Beach today, it is hard to imagine this was the scene of a major battle just seventy years prior. 

We visited Juno Beach last summer and it was a fascinating and moving experience. As we watched kids play in the sand and land sailors glide across the horizon, we could not ignore the remnants of war that dot the surrounding areas. The concrete bunkers, anti-landing defenses, and memorials to the D-Day landing heros were constant reminders that great sacrifices were made back then so we could be enjoying our stroll along the beach today. 

Lest we forget.

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