Utah Beach
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Another D-Day Beach
Utah Beach is the westernmost of the five landing beaches on D-Day June 6, 1944. Utah is a flatter beach than Omaha Beach. The movie "The Longest Day" shows the landing on Utah Beach and how brutal it was. I walked the three mile long beach and tried to picture the battle and the landing on that June day. I saw some of the metal "traps" placed by the Germans to entangle the troops as they hit the beach. Luckily, the tide was low when they landed so the metal did not trap the troops. Touring these sites was naturally an emotional and solemn experience and one that I won't forget. I remembered from history classes and historic movies that one of the famous Generals at Utah Beach was Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. ( the former President's son). He led the assault on Utah Beach. He died the next month of a heart attack in Sainte-Mer-Eglise which was another town where battles were fought on D-Day. A soldier was caught up on the town's church by his parachute. He played dead and survived. His parachute remains on the church and tourists stop to take photos. The World War II Utah Beach American Memorial is located on the hills above the beach. Check it out. Try to visit Arromanches which has a circular cinema built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the American D-Day landing. You stand in the cinema and hear and see the planes flyling overhead as they enter Normandy. This was my favorite stop on the Normandy war route.
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