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9,000 Fallen Soldiers Stenciled into Sand at Normandy Beach

To commemorate “Peace Day”, British artists Jamie Wardley and Andy Moss, in combination with many volunteers, went to Normandy Beach and stenciled the silhouettes of the 9,000 soldiers who lost their lives on D-Day during World War II. With rakes and stencil pads shaped like bodies in hand, the group completed the temporary art installation titled The Fallen 9000.

The work is meant to serve as a stark visual reminder of the civilians, allied forces and Germans who died during the beach landings at Arromanches on D-Day: June 6th, 1944. The initial team began with 60 volunteers, but as word spread to nearby residents, an additional 500 people came to help with the temporary installation. Although the stenciled body impressions in the sand only lasted a few hours before the tide washed them away, the photographs serve as a reminder of the horrors of war and of the cherished lives lost.

source

"I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you." - Frida Kahlo

"Hug the dirt, mates, or you’ll get your back scratched."
Yankee invaders bellyflop into the sands of Leyte Island’s beaches, after rushing ashore from the landing barges of a Coast Guard-manned invasion transport.
, 10/1944

The liberation of the Philippines from Japanese occupiers by Allied forces began with an amphibious assault on Leyte Island on October 20, 1944.

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June 6th 1944: D-Day

On this day in 1944, the D-Day landings began on the beaches of Normandy as part of the Allied ‘Operation Overlord’. The largest amphibious military operation in history, the operation involved thousands of Allied troops landing in France. For those landing on the beaches of Normandy, they faced heavy fire, mines and other obstacles on the beach, but managed to push inland. In charge of the operation was future US President General Dwight Eisenhower and leading the ground forces was British General Bernard Montgomery. The landings proved a decisive Allied victory, as they secured a foothold in France which had been defeated by Nazi Germany in 1940. D-Day was a key moment in the Second World War and helped turn the tide of the war in favour of the Allies. 70 years on, we remember not just the strategic victory that was D-Day but also the ultimate sacrifice paid by thousands of soldiers on both sides of the fighting.

“You are about to embark upon the great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.”
- Eisenhower’s message to the Allied Expeditionary Force

70 years ago today

Versions of Dean

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Dean Smith

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Normandy Invasion, 1944
From the Moving Images Relating to Coast Guard Activities series.

See our past D-Day posts, including Eisenhower’s Order of the Day, and his hastily drafted “in case of failure" note, and a detailed sketch of a typical Platoon Leader in full battle dress.

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