It felt wise to scope out the environs of the D-Day Landing Beaches before the world arrives next week … so off I went yesterday to do just that.

It’s exactly 1.5 hours from my door to the sands, cliffs, villages and memorials that dot the expanse of the landing zone.

My drive brought me in from the south, to Grandcamp-Maisy, just east of Utah Beach or Sainte-Mère-Église​.

A cheerful, small port town crammed with small sun-bleached stone houses and narrow streets, I’m stationed​ here to capture what’s mine to give. Driving along t​he narrow two-lane country road, it winds and stretches along the shoreline of the D-Day zone, sometimes at sea level, sometimes from the cliffs looking out to sea.

Every 100 feet or so on telephone poles overhead, all along the road, you’ll find a banner — a face of some, one fallen hero.

It’s only a 10-mile meander; looking left going east, fields are planted all the way to the edge of the cliffs. Coming back, sea to the right, looking left all you’ll see are endless fields of worked farmland, hamlets and villages.


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I drove from Grandcamp-Maisy to Colleville-sur-Mer just to get my own bearings. The road was fairly relaxed and empty. But by today, one day later, fireworks commence along the shorelines for the week. This road will be bumper to bumper in slow motion, including massive buses navigating their way to tourists’ destinations.

It’s a complete bottleneck geographically, and easy to understand why it was chosen for the Invasion, as it seemed a highly improbable choice.

On the way back to Grandcamp-Maisy, there were two rough tractor roads that went down to the edge of the cliffs — small signs indicated you could go down — so on the second one, I did. Not a traveled road but by farmers, massive potholes to miss, it provided a high point to capture the sea, and a halfway point between Pont d’Hoc and Grandcamp-Maisy.

There was no one here. It gave me pause … which is what I was after … Here in 2024, powerful elements were laid bare on this beautiful, clear coastal day — with high winds, and white-capped waves.

From this sea to this land? Scaling the cliffs of Pont d’Hoc? Stories abound. Heroic struggles, fallen soldiers, and costs uncountable. It comes alive.