France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Normandy American Cemetery
This famous cemetery is the final resting place of 9,387 US soldiers who lost their lives in the D-Day landings and subsequent battles.

 
   

 

Colleville-sur-Mer was a small, quiet village in Normandy prior to the D-Day landings, during which its church and other buildings were destroyed.

Colleville was chosen as the site of the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial during the first days after the landings, and it soon became a focus of D-Day memories.

Overlooking Omaha Beach (map), this peaceful site stands as a memorial to the thousands of soldiers who died during the D-Day battles on June 6, 1944, and their aftermath. Besides the rows of crosses and Stars-of-David that mark the graves of the known fallen, the Walls of the Missing include the names of over 1500 soldiers from these operations whose remains were never recovered.

The cemetery is an extremely moving place, a peaceful garden that recalls a bloody past.

The rows and rows of grave markers, perfectly aligned and spreading as far as the eye can see, give a glimpse of the enormous price paid—only a short walk from where many of them fell.

American Military Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, France

Among the graves are those of General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., the only general to land with the first wave of troops on D-Day, and his brother Lieutenant Quentin Roosevelt, who died in World War I and was buried elsewhere, but whose remains were moved here, next to his brother's, at the request of the family.

A Visitor Center provides background information on the cemetery and D-Day.

The open Memorial includes maps of some of the battles and is centered on a gracious statue, the "Spirit of American Youth."

A small chapel provides a quiet space for reflection.

The walkway along the cemetery has an orientation table that overlooks Omaha Beach and explains the various landings.

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial attracts millions of visitors from North America, France, and indeed around the world. Some are coming to see the graves of friends or relatives, while most simply want to see and remember.

Featured in the opening and closing scenes of the film Saving Private Ryan, the cemetery stands as an emotional reminder of the impact of war.

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France (map)
Tel +33 (0)2 31 51 62 00


Normandy War Cemeteries

About D-Day

D-Day History

Omaha Beach

Utah Beach

Ste-Mère-Église

Bayeux

Caen

About Normandy

 

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View of Omaha Beach, Normandy,France

Above, Omaha Beach seen from Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

Below, the Memorial with "Spirit of American Youth."

 

Memorial, American Military Cemetery, Normandy

   
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