Friday, 15 August 2014

15Août 1944

Plage 44 as it is today
In France this year they are commemorating the hundred years since the outbreak of the First World War and the seventy years of the Liberation. In June it was the Normandy landings. On the fifteenth of August 1944 the American forces landed on the shores of the South of France and got a very warm welcome. In an area that has since become famous for Brigitte Bardot, bikinis , watersports and beautiful beaches the image of a whole load of soldiers arriving  on the beach seems rather incongruous. But no- one has forgotten those brave men and how much they meant to the land of Egalité, Fraternité, Liberté. Tomorrow they will be remembered especially along with the French people who were at their side. The American flag is flying in all the little villages. There is a lovely beach bar opposite St.Tropez which is called Plage 44. There are memorials along the beautiful coastline. There are old photographs on display in the art galleries. While we are on our summer holidays these old memories can serve to remind us that civilization and freedom are very precious and also fragile.

Map showing where the troops landed and where the memorials are

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