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Home » Blog » Destination guides » Commemorating D-Day in Normandy

Commemorating D-Day in Normandy

Written by: Russell Wallace | Travel Insurance Expert
Last updated: 6 June 2024 | Created: 6 June 2024

On 6th June 1944, hundreds of thousands of brave men, from across the globe, embarked on a mission to liberate the world from tyranny. The courage, sacrifice, and determination displayed during the invasion are forever etched in our memories.

This blog guides you through key places where you can pay your respects to those who fought for our freedom.

To support the ongoing efforts in commemorating and supporting veterans, please consider joining us in donating to the Royal British Legion.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in Bayeux

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in Bayeux

1. Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in Bayeux

Located near the historic town of Bayeux, the cemetery is a solemn reminder, with over 4,000 Commonwealth troops from World War II buried there.  The cemetery also includes graves of soldiers from other Allied nations, making it a significant place of remembrance.

2. Juno Beach

The Juno Beach Centre is dedicated to the Canadian forces who played a vital role in the invasion. Located at Courseulles-sur-Mer, the centre offers interactive exhibits that highlight the Canadian contribution to the liberation of Europe.

3. Pegasus Bridge

One of the first objectives taken by Allied forces, the capture of this key crossing was crucial in preventing German counter-attacks. The original bridge has been preserved and is now housed in the Pegasus Bridge Museum, along with other artefacts from the battle.

Omaha Beach memorial

Omaha Beach memorial

4. Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach is perhaps the most famous of the landing sites. The sheer cliffs and fortified positions made it one of the most challenging beaches to capture. Today, it stands as a haunting reminder of the immense bravery shown by the soldiers. A visit here offers a sobering experience, with monuments that honour the fallen.

5. Pointe du Hoc

Another key site in the D-Day narrative. This strategic point was heavily fortified but captured by the 2nd US Ranger Battalion. It has been preserved in its wartime state, with craters from the bombardment and remnants of German bunkers. It serves as a vivid reminder of the fierce battle that occurred here in June 1944.

6. Arromanches-les-Bains

Arromanches-les-Bains is known for the remains of the Mulberry Harbour, an artificial port built by the Allies to facilitate rapid offloading of equipment and supplies. The D-Day Museum in Arromanches provides an in-depth look at this engineering marvel and its significance in the success of the campaign.

Sainte-Mère-Église

Sainte-Mère-Église

7. Sainte-Mère-Église

Sainte-Mère-Église was one of the first towns liberated by Allied forces. The town is famous for the paratrooper John Steele, whose parachute got caught on the church steeple. A mannequin hangs from the steeple to this day, a reminder of his story. The Airborne Museum here offers an extensive collection of exhibits dedicated to the paratroopers who spearheaded the invasion.

Visiting these places in Normandy is a moving way to remember those who fought and sacrificed so much during the landings and subsequent battles. Each location offers a unique perspective on the events of June 1944 and provides a space for reflection and remembrance.