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Reflection of Omaha Beach

Walking on Omaha beach was a surreal experience. Although I was so far away from home, I could feel an American presence all around me. I am not sure what I was fully expecting when I started this walk, but seeing it for the first time was different than what I guessed in my mind. The beach itself was quite beautiful despite the looming fog and the rain that followed. It was littered with shells that had hints of blue and rocks that were smooth from the waves. This beauty starkly contrasts the image of the beach on June 6th. Walking this beach with the weather so similar to what it was 75 years ago, I imagined soldiers beginning their journey up the hill with gun fire raging around them. We began our trek up the hill, the same as these soldiers once did, to see monuments dedicated to the Fifth Engineer Special Brigade and 1st Infantry. Seeing names of these individuals who died in this battle further made my experience real. Further up the hill from the monuments, we saw cows grazing. Our tour guide informed us that these battles were very costly economically to the farmers in this area because cows are curious creatures and would give away soldiers hiding out behind bushes, and so the soldiers would kill them to avoid being seen by the enemy. Today, however, these cows roam freely with no sense of danger. Although I could feel the presence of the past all around me, these cows showed that D-Day happened, the French were liberated, and now there is peace. This is an experience that every American should have.