The Beaches of Normandy Weekend: Part 1
Trip Start Sep 13, 2012
51Trip End Dec 21, 2013
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We started our tour of the museum in their movie theater where they showed an amazing film made of real footage from D-day. It was all in black and white and split screen; the left side of the screen was the footage of the Allied forces, and the right side, the German forces. D-day was an elaborately planned aquatic and air attack on the German forces on the French coast, that took over a year to plan
As the attack gets closer and closer, the action and the music becomes more intense, until one German lookout on Point de Hoc spots the thousands of ships heading toward the shore: a wall of Allied forces. Panic ensues in the German base. When the first Allied marines land on the beaches, the screen extends into one. The battle rages for a few minutes, and then the music calms down to show the Allied soldiers leading any Germans left alive out of destroyed bunkers with their hands above their heads. The D-day battle was crucial to the Allies winning the war because it got the Allied forces back on the European continent where they were able to push back the Nazi forces from France and across Europe
After the film, we walked through the museum, beginning at the end of World War I with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. I recognized the picture because it was done in the Hall of Mirrors. Also, Eisenhower was in the picture at a big desk signing a fancy looking piece of paper.
It was at this picture that Haley and I became friends. Jane was teasing us because we were taking pictures of everything, and we both said it was so we could post the pictures on our blog. Of course, I am a picture taking fiend regardless, but I wasn't about to tell Jane that. After that, Haley and I found out that we had a lot of other things in common, like the fact that we love to explore new places and have cool adventures, and, of course, to blog
Anyway, back the museum. It was pretty interesting; they use all types of media genres to help the visitors understand the feeling of the era. In one room there was an old fashioned radio playing news stories, reports from the fronts, and speeches by world leaders during the war. There were old military uniforms on display, letters that were addressed to families back home from soldiers on the fronts, and antique military vehicles. It was really helpful that all of the captions next to the displays were in both English and French. I think what made me like the museum the most was that, as you walk through it, it was like walking through a time line of events. It felt very much like an intense, thorough version of high school history class. Although, saw things in the museum that they would have never shared with us in a high school history class. I really feel now that i understand the panic, the devastation, the need for there to be hope back home in the States for the boys to come home. There was a brief section on the war in the Pacific; in every picture I looked for my grandfather. The last images in the museum were of the end of the war on the Japanese and German fronts: the devastation in Japan after the bombing, and the picture of Hitler and his wife lying dead in Hitler's office after killing themselves.
We did not have much time in the museum, so everyone grabbed a quick lunch in the food court there, and we headed out. Haley and I were the last ones because we needed to stop at the gift shop for postcards and souvenirs. Definitely worth it though.