About eighteen years ago we visited Normandy and went to Gold Beach near Arromanches. We also visited the American Cemetery which overlooks Omaha Beach. There was hardly anyone there and you weren't allowed to walk among the graves or take photos. How things have changed.
We made a second visit to the Normandy landing sites on our return trip to catch the ferry at Calais and decided to revisit the cemetery. There is now a visitor centre and a massive carpark, that was full.
There were hundreds of people wandering around, some looking for a particular grave, others a bit stupefied by it all. Many different nationalities. You can now approach the graves and take photos, this has lightened the atmosphere some and made it seem more peaceful if that makes any sense.
I took photos of a few individual crosses, then decided to see if I could find out anything at all about the servicepeople who lay beneath them.
Elizabeth 'Liz' Richardson.
Hiawatha L E Perry, Bud to his friends...
We also went to the German cemetery and other noteable places on the same coast. It's always good to be able to make an experience more personal, even if the people involved have no actual connection with me they are still important to me, my past and my future.
Years ago, on that beach in Normandy my Mother (yes, we took her on holiday once and only once) told us off for flying a kite with No1 who was just a toddler. I was having none of that. Men and women fought and died so that we can fly kites on beaches.