D-Day: celebrating freedom in Normandy

D-Day: celebrating freedom in Normandy

2 minutes to read

Every year in June, Normandy is preparing for a new invasion. Millions of visitors and hundreds of veterans are coming there to commemorate the anniversary of the Normandy landings and the Battle of Normandy. It is the time of the year when you can meet the last World War II veterans and pay tribute to those soldiers who have lost their lives fighting for freedom. But, D-day is also a very festive event and celebrating freedom in Normandy is a serious affair. During the whole June, you can visit or take part in many great events, from a movie festival unique in the world that screens the latest movies about the World War II to a big air meeting with the participation of thousands of parachutists. 

The anniversary of the Normandy landings
The anniversary of the Normandy landings
Arromanches-les-Bains, France

History

On 6 June 1944, the Allied troops started the landing operations in Normandy. This operation, known as 'Operation Neptune' and most commonly as 'D-Day', was the beginning of the liberation of France and entire Europe in the World War II. During the summer that followed those landings, many soldiers from the United States, Great Brittany, Canada, and all over Europe have lost their lives fighting for freedom. Today, in Normandy throughout the year, you can visit many places of memory such as cemeteries, museums and even the remains of the Mulberry Harbor in Arromanches-les-Bains. One of the most visited cemeteries in Normandy is the American Cemetery and Memorial situated in Colleville-sur-Mer, just above Omaha Beach.

Cimetière américain de Colleville-sur-Mer
Cimetière américain de Colleville-sur-Mer
Cimetière Américain, 14710 Colleville-sur-Mer, France
Remains Mulberry Harbor in Arromanches-les-Bains
Remains Mulberry Harbor in Arromanches-les-Bains
Arromanches-les-Bains, France
Photo Credit © iStockphoto/silviacrisman
Photo Credit © iStockphoto/silviacrisman

Anniversary of the landings

The anniversary of Operation Neptune is an event that the whole family can enjoy. If you are a history lover, you need to visit a special exhibition situated along the D-Day beaches, that shows the large format pictures of soldiers and resistance fighters. Nothing less interesting is an interactive exhibition named “In their footsteps”, where you can learn more about the soldiers and civilians who lived the landings from the first row. Also, D-Day in Normandy offers a special treat for cinema lovers. A movie festival unique in the world, screening the latest movies about the World War II, is organised during the festivities. 

Celebrating life and freedom

D-Day is all about celebrating freedom in Normandy. Your children will be delighted to visit the camp Geronimo. It is a very special place where you can immerse yourself into the incredible atmosphere of a US parachutist camp. Another great moment during the anniversary of the Normandy landings is the Liberty Ball in Bayeaux. Two orchestras animate this ball just like in the 1940s. But, the highlight of the anniversary of D-Day in Normandy is the firework on the coast organised every year at midnight. Take a picnic with you, find a nice spot on the beach and enjoy this unique and joyful celebration of freedom.

Cover Photo © Credit to iStockphoto/mikdam

The author

Sladjana Perkovic

Sladjana Perkovic

Hello, my name is Sladjana, a journalist and writer living in Paris, France. I write about French well hidden places, gastronomy and cultural events.

Stories you might also like