Remembering D-Day: The Beaches of Normandy

70 years ago today, Allied forces consisting of American, British, Canadian, and Free French soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy in northern France. They landed in rough seas under leaden skies with low clouds. Once on the beaches, they faced quickly rising tides, mines, and heavy gunfire from German gun emplacements above the beaches.

A landing craft from the U.S. Coast Guard-manned USS Samuel Chase disembarks troops onto Omaha Beach on the morning of June 6, 1944. Photo: Robert F. Sargent from the National Archives and Records Administration

A landing craft from the U.S. Coast Guard-manned USS Samuel Chase disembarks troops onto Omaha Beach on the morning of June 6, 1944. Photo: Robert F. Sargent from the National Archives and Records Administration.

In the end, the invasion was a success, but at a cost of many, many lost lives among the Allied troops.

Normandy memorial and graves

Today the beaches are quiet. Birds race along the sand and swoop above the surf — nature has retaken control. If you didn’t know, it would be hard to guess what occurred here in June of 1944.

Normandy beaches in 1983

These pictures were taken on a visit to Normandy in 1983.

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