Saturday, June 6, 2009

June 6, 1945 - Only the beginning

A few rather non-related images for this post; it was not exactly a coherent moment in time, anyway. There are so many wonderful sites, both news & blogs, that will be covering today's very important 65th anniversary. (And we just realized that we're supposed to be at the WWII Memorial on Saturday. Here is the link to the excellent National WWII Memorial website here in Washington, DC.)

The black & white photographs are courtesy of the Google-hosted LIFE archives. The terrific Yannick Vigouroux shot of the beach at Luc-sur-Mer was taken 1 June 2009. The series of photographs starts with Yannick's beach & goes back in time. GIs playing with children & talking to French citizens that day & the day after the invasion. The last photograph is servicemen playing poker on a dock in England, waiting to leave for Normandy. It is simply too much to comprehend how terrified they must have been & to wonder how many in that photograph survived the first hour, or moments, of the invasion.

Remember that WWII veterans are passing away at the rate of approximately 1,000 a day (in America). Time is running out to hear their stories, to pay your respects, & to say thank you while they're still able to hear it. Also, as great & successful as this largest invasion in history was, the knowledge of what was to come is sobering.

[Click on Yannick's panoramic shot of Luc-sur-mer to see a larger print or click on his name above to the full-size. The colors & pan shot are superb. Update: Tuesday, 30 June 2009. Time's up for clicking here. Please go to Yannick's flickr set. Thanks!]