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A Reflection of Civilian Deaths in France.

By Alexa Davidson

In continuing thoughts on the memory of civilians during wartime, the city of Caen, France gives a whole new perspective. While in London, the memories of civilian action and death during World War Two and some mentions of World War One, make them seem like a footnote in the greater war effort. There, but not really heroic, an afterthought. France, though, makes sure you remember its civilian deaths. It presents you with the visceral facts about what living on the front lines was like. The image of books shot through and destroyed personal affects, is… grounding, placing you in the vivid place of the civilians of the Normandy region. The staggering statistics about causalities and the knowledge that they were as close to intentional as the allies got- they were aware there would be causalities in their bombing of the Norman cost, but carried on knowing they needed to destroy German lines of communication- makes you remember. While war heroes are memorialized, so are the victims of war. The people who do nothing more than live and die in a country, who live through the atrocities and the oppression just trying to survive, not actively hurting or being hurt.

An image of the destroyed city of Caen, 1944.
Caen, 1944

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