The 70th anniversary of the allied landing known as Operation Overlord or D-Day is being commemorated this year. International travelers will be visiting Normandy and other World II European fields of battle to honor those who fought and sacrificed for a free Europe.
D-Day, the largest amphibious invasion in the history of the world, took place on the French beaches in Normandy. Over 160,000 allied (American, British, Canadian, Free French and Polish and others) soldiers landed on the beaches that damp and overcast day, Nearly 200,000 allied naval and merchant marine personnel were involved in support of Operation Overlord. The operation involved approximately 5000 ships and 11,000 aircraft. It is estimated that a total of 425,000 Allied and German troops were casualties of the invasion. It was an event that led to the liberation of Europe.
Many of us have relatives who fought or served at Normandy–my father was one. Others of us are connected through friends or have an interest in military and world history. To all of us D-Day was a world changing event and the beaches of Normandy and those who fought there are very special in our thoughts and hearts.
The D-Day landing beaches of Normandy are located on the English Channel and include approximately 50 miles of French coastline. The French government and local Normandy governmental entities have planned many memorial ceremonies for the commemoration event. Two excellent websites to visit for information are Bessin-The Normandy of the New Experiences. and Normandy Tourist Board.
If you plan to travel to Normandy I recommend that you make your plans and reservations as early as possible. Tours and accommodations are filling- up quickly.
Here are links to some of the tours being offered. You can contact them directly or work with your local travel agent on these and other tours:
EF Educational Tour-Canada
Battlefield Tours by Leger Holidays (UK)
The National WWII Museum Tours
Beyond Band of Brothers
World War 2 Tours of Europe
D-Day 70th Anniversary Cruise
Remembrance Tours (Royal British Legion)
Links to articles and other D-Day 70th Anniversary information:
Obama Will Travel To France For D-Day Anniversary (NPR)
Ottawa to Cover Cost of Travel for D-Day Veterans (Globe and Mail)
France Prepares for 70th Anniversary D-Day Drama (Daily Mail)
Normandy: 70th Anniversary D-Day Events (Washington Times)