|Memorial at the American Cemetery |
(Photos by Sarah W. Gorrell)
The memorial (shown above) welcomes visitors to the American Cemetery which sits on 172.5 acres atop a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach (one of the landing beaches in the invasion) and the English Channel. The cemetery is the resting place of almost 10,000 of our military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations in WWII. 1,557 names of the missing are inscribed on a semicircular wall, east of the memorial on the "Walls of the Missing". Rosettes mark the names of those that have been recovered and identified.
A bronze statue "Spirit of American Youth" stands in the middle of the the memorial. Every hour, chimes play familiar hymns and the church bells ring.
A visit to the cemetery is a very somber and sobering experience, as one walks among the rows of white marble crosses, aligned perfectly from any direction.
Some have names, rank, company, state from which they came, and the date they died - like the cross shown (left).
Many have only the inscription “Here lies in honored glory, A Comrade in Arms, known but to God”,
Waving in the wind, two flags stand watch over our men who gave their lives so that we might be free. Let freedom ring .......let us never forget how much was given so that we might live......in freedom!