Since 1944 June 6 is forever marked in all French and WWII allied country calendars. Its military name was Operation ‘Overlord’ but it is known in History as THE D-DAY.
The day allied combined naval, air and land assaults on 5 beaches in northern France: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword, marking the start of the victory over the Nazi regime that will come over a year later.
Every year, the Normandie region puts on a huge celebration with people even dressing up in military uniform and parading vintage cars and trucks.
Our Chateau being located only 20 minutes drive from Utah beach*, we were and still are in the middle of it all.
On June 6, 1944, L’Isle Marie was at the heart of the battles for Normandy. Part of the 82nd division of American paratroopers landed over its lands and a bomber plane crashed behind the hospital (today’s Mansion) which burned together with the chapel and the stables. You can see the damage filmed after the war here.
We were very honored to welcome Wish for Our Heroes, a foundation dedicated to to providing resources to the active duty service men and women during and after their deployment, traveling with Mr Ried Claton for his first return to Europe, 78 years after he landed on Omaha Beach. It was a very emotional and humbling moment for us all.
Mr Clanton’s signature now joined the one left by American soldier Mason Edgar (whom we have searched but never found), who had signed our door on back June 6th 1944.
Sadly, history has a way of repeating itself and this year’s commemoration felt even more important in the context of yet another war raging in Europe today, more than 75 years later.
*The scuplture on the picture is The Braves, by Anilore Banon is located on Omaha Beach (about 40 min drive from the Castle).