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Jean Butterworth

This past June 6, 2009 commemorated the 65th Anniversary of D-Day and the Invasion at Normandy. Many American soldiers lie in the American cemeteries near here in Colleville sur Mer, France. They died to save all of us from the tyranny of Nazi Germany. The land where our soldier rest is considered American soil. The cemetery workers I’m told are paid in American currency.

Several years ago I made a special trip to France to visit Normandy. It was an experience I will never forget. I stood in an old German pillbox and stretched my eyes out to sea and tried to imaging what the Allied invasion forces looked like coming into the beaches on those early morning hours.

What I can’t image is what occurred after the landing started when the Germans realized that that the invasion was upon them. The Germans retaliated with fire down upon the incoming Allied soldiers. Now, as I looked there is only a slight breeze that cooled my face as I looked down at the peaceful beach with the waves gently lapping the shore. What a price was paid for this spot of beach front!

A part of my visit to Normandy I visited the very large WWII Museum at Caens. An interesting visit was to the small French town of Sainte Mere Eglise. There on the church steeple hangs a replica (dummy) of the American soldier whose parachute caught on the steeple of the church during the invasion.

Visiting these historic places bring history to light and many memories of those who participated in the Invasion of Normandy.

Thank you, American Soldiers for your sacrifice. I’m proud to be an American!

Jean Butterworth

Written: June 2009

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