Juno Beach ran between St Aubin-sur-Mer and and Graye-sur-Mer in Normandy. This pillbox at Bernières-sur-Mer is a constant reminder to the residents of the village of their subjugation under the Germans, as well as their liberation by the Canadians on D-Day. It is a tribute to all of the troupes who fought that day, German as well as Allied. As saturation fire killed German troupes all around them, the soldiers in this pillbox kept firing at the Canadians, killing 100 of the Queen’s Own Rifles. They were, themselves, eventually killed and the Canadians went on to be the only Allied troupes to obtain their objective on D-Day – to capture Carpiquet Airfield.
This pillbox is a Monument to both Defeat and to Victory. The people have reclaimed it and it is now just a part of their daily lives. But every year, thousands tour the D-Day Beaches; stopping at these monuments and reflecting is at the heart of each person’s pilgrimage. It is sobering and humbling to experience these beaches, with their ever present reminders of one of the darkest times in human memory. One cannot help but be changed by it. And isn’t that what a Monument is all about.
6 thoughts on “WordPress Photo Challenge – Monument”
From our trip to Normandy in 2011, I knew immediately what this was. We saw many of these as we toured the beaches and other areas over three days. We visited Juno Beach as well. The area is so full of history!
Here’s one post I did on that visit. If you’re interested, feel free to take a look. http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/weekly-photo-challenge-abandoned/
Nice take on the Monument theme! And thank you for the history lesson. I don’t remember being taught that one in school oh so long, long ago. We don’t hear much, if anything, about the Canadians who participated in that horrible day. I may not have known, but you can be sure that God knows.
Meanwhile, you’re welcome to come and see what my take on the theme is:
Hi Cris, Canadians are not taught the best of themselves. We are taught that everyone else’s history or books or culture is better. My few days in Normandy were a real eye-opener for me. I learned a lot, about the war, about Canada and about myself. I`m glad you enjoyed my monument.
I have a warm spot in my heart for Canada. I don’t think the Canadians are all that different than the Americans. Perhaps in Quebec they might be a little different, having different roots. But I feel a closeness to you all, even though I only know one person who lives in Canada, although we don’t communicate much.