Today Earl and I visited Normandy, the primary purpose of this cruise. We’d originally planned to see it on a similar cruise in November, 2013; but weather intervened and we never made it.
Today we did, and a brief blog doesn’t describe all we saw. Or felt.
By motorbus, we experienced Juno Beach, where the British landed; Arromanches, where the Allies built a floating dock for their supply vessels; the Normandy cemetery where 9387 Americans are buried; Omaha Beach, where most of them died; and Pointe du Hoc, where the Germans had a stronghold that needed to be taken early on for the success of the rest of the invasion. It was, although the casualties were great.
Earl’s father had landed on Normandy, not in the first wave but later. So naturally Earl was most interested in information about his father’s Eighth Infantry Division. We tracked its movements from more than one map.
I found Private Joseph Woodbury of Michigan. It was quite by accident, although his being from Michigan seems appropriate. His white marble cross bore his name, rank, and the date of his death: June 7, 1944, D-Day plus one. There was nothing more, except . . .
On the day Joseph Woodbury died, I was born.