Today is the 80th Anniversary if D-day on the beaches of Normandy France. On the 75th Anniversary we visited this site on June 5, watched President Trump’s magnificent speech and the aerial spectacle above. It was a VERY moving experience for all of us.

You can read below my journal for the two days and watch the two 15-minute videos.

We are going back to France again this year to visit Normandy from November 30-December 8. Our pilgrimage is called “The Saints & Shrines of France and D-Day”.

Day 1: D-Day All Day: Pegasus Bridge & Omaha Beach

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This was the most remarkable day.  On our ride to the battlefront our pilgrim Glenn Juday gave us an excellent overview of the whole operation of the assault on the beaches of Normandy. He is quite the historian! We started out at Pegasus Bridge where the British landed in gliders to set the whole stage for D-Day. We had Mass at the glorious Church of Saint Stephen (Saints Etienne) with the tomb of William the Conqueror where our organist Matthew Johnson played for us.

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Then we spent time in the World War II  Museum in Caen which was a center of the fighting following D-Day. An excellent Normandy lunch with their fresh cider. Then to Omaha Beach to visit the Normandy American Cemetery.  You can’t prepare for this experience. We then drove along the beach and saw the memorial and imagined our military men coming ashore and climbing up the cliffs in the hills. It was very moving and stunning. What they did was unimaginable and incredible.

We had Marilyn Walton, who is an author and a World War II historian, tell us the story of her father who is shut down and all of his crew were killed. She told us many stories and it made our a ride back to the Château very short. A great dinner and a better early.

Day 2: 75th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy with President Trump

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Today was a marvelous day with our group and Normandy France celebrating his 75th anniversary of D-Day. We were among still living heroes who jumped that day and joined by president of France and President Trump. It was a grand celebration!

Even though it was to commemorate men who had died it was a celebration of their heroism, bravery, self-sacrifice and victory. Sitting among over 9000 crosses marking the graves of brave Americans was overwhelming.

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French president Macron was gracious and eloquent. Donald Trump was the same old wonderful self. He gave a heartfelt speech and told the stories of several men who jumped that day, and they were there with him to receive his accolades.

The crowd continued to rise to their feet with supplies and cheering and it made us all proud to be Americans. He reminded us that we are a brave, righteous and caring people who are always willing to help others fight for liberty.

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The military jets and planes screaming overhead and the sound of helicopters and artillery fire was a frosting on the cake. Marilyn Walton was able to find the graves of the men who died serving with her father. It was a tearjerker.

I asked one soldier who was serving there if he was glad he was there today and not 75 years ago. He said, “Yes and No.”  I asked him if he had been there 75 years ago if he would’ve been willing to fight and charge the beaches. Without blinking he said, “Yes sir, in a heartbeat, for love of my country and our people.”

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It was a marvelous day and everyone was very exhilarated and now exhausted. I’m sorry that YouTube only gives me 15 minutes but I hope that I shared enough of the highlights so that you’ll feel like you were with us they’re a bit today. God bless America!



Day One:

Day Two: