Photo Courtesy Commune Nouvelle Saint James

There is a quiet, building momentum here in France as the country — and world — marks the 80th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion.

I’ve personally been preparing for months; en fait I booked my flat smack in the middle of the landing zone near Colleville-sur-Mer (Omaha Beach) a year ago, got my government and regional passes to have open access to all of it, and called it ready-set. Not so fast, Ani.

Today, I intended on being at the eremony here in Saint James on the grounds of the Brittany American Cemetery to participate and journal the event.

Leaving 1.5 hours early to ensure I could get a parking place, I was stopped in centre ville by La Gendarmerie, the French National Military Police, who are  stationed at every corner in Saint James. Streets were completely empty and no one gets through the roadblocks without official authorization.

Given I live here, seeing local media state ‘visitors welcome,’ I had not thought of procuring a local pass. I’ve got it covered for being @ the D Day beaches, but not here. Security is tight.

What it tells me, is all who are coming are already here.

And so it begins.