Normandy: Utah Beach, St. Mere Eglise and Bayeax

Church at St Mere Eglise

With Omaha Beach fully explored but the kids still yearning for some beach time, we decided to make a stop at Utah Beach, just North and West of Omaha.  Utah gets fewer visitors, probably because it doesn’t have the notoriety of Omaha – only 200 American casualties on the morning of the invasion.  But it was still an important step in establishing a beach head, and  with the sun shining it was the perfect opportunity for the kids to find sea shells and capture some photos of Utah.

Just behind Omaha Beach lies St. Mere Eglise, a sleepy little town with a lot of Lore.  St. Mere Eglise was featured in the  movie “The Longest Day”. The story featured there is of paratrooper John Steele who got hung up on the church spire where he remained for hours until finally being taken prisoner.   The church remains at the center of St. Mere Eglise, and in an odd commemoration an effigy of Steele hangs from a prachute from the spire today.

Next to the church is a museum dedicated to the 82nd at 101st Airborne. It wasn’t big or impressive but it was kid friendly, and we’ll take that over big and impressive any time. (Photos of St. Mere Eglise and the Airborne Museum).

Our last stop on our tour of France turned out to be Bayeax.  It wasn’t planned that way,

Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Bayeax.

but citizens of France had other plans (more on that later).  And we like to go where the people aren’t…so that worked out well for us, because Bayeax was basically completely closed for business on Mondays.  Nonetheless, we explored the town and the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Bayeax,

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