Normandy American Cemetery
The impressive American Military Cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer contains the remains of 9.387 American soldiers who fell during the Battle of Normandy. The cemetery reflects and honors the sacrifices that the USA made for the liberation of Europe. From this point one can overlook Omaha Beach, the deadliest landing beach of Operation Overlord.
The American Military Cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer is the most famous war cemetery in Normandy. The long lines of white marble Latin crosses and stars of David symbolize the sacrifices that the Allied nations - and here in particular the United States of America - have made for our freedom. The cemetery is an exceptional site, not in the least because of its impressive location dominating Omaha Beach, where the Americans suffered their worst losses.
Great care has been given to its esthetic qualities. Many elements combine to make a lasting impression: the half circle of columns, the elaborate statuary, the great reflecting pond, and the immaculate park enclosing the graves of 9.387 American soldiers who died on D-Day and in other confrontations thereafter during the Battle of Normandy. A semi circular wall on the east side of the Memorial shows the names of 1.557 soldiers missing in action, men whose bodies were not found or not identified.
Large maps and commentaries in the loggias explain the Allied operations in Normandy and Northwestern Europe. A vantage point offers a panoramic view of Omaha Beach and an orientation table clarifies the strategic movements during the first days of the invasion. Since 2007 a visitor center welcomes visitors and sheds light on the course of the battles.
Since the visit of U.S. president Jimmy Carter in 1978, the cemetery is an obligatory stop for American presidents, and is often referred to by the American press when the two countries’ foreign policies clash. A second American Cemetery in Normandy is situated just outside the town of Saint James.
When the cemetery is open to the public, staff members are on duty in the visitor centre to answer questions and escort relatives to grave and memorial sites.
The cemetery is open to the public daily, except on 25 December and 1 January. Visiting hours are 9:00-18:00 from 15 April to 15 September, and 9:00-17:00 the rest of the year. It is open on most holidays.