Today was an interesting day. We visited the places that many Canadian Soldiers were last seen alive before they were killed. Abbaye d’Ardenne – an arch way that a group of Canadian soldiers were taken through into a garden and shot. The garden is where we had our first Remembrance Ceremony.
At Chateau d’Audrieu, a forest grove where three soldiers were shot, a wreath was placed in their honour.
Today was our first visit to a Military Cemetery, Beny sur Mer. What a beautiful place – you can see for miles around. It is back to the sea where many of the soldiers where killed and inland towards Caen where the first battles took place. Another Remembrance Ceremony was held and a number of other visitors to the site took part in the service, placing their poppies on the wreath. It is the size of the Cemetery that you first notice, but it is the small individual stories of sacrifice and tragedy that really brings the feelings home.
Bény-sur-Mer was created as a permanent resting place for over 2000 Canadian soldiers killed in July 1944 in the Battle for Caen and the D-Day assault of Juno Beach. The Canadian Prisoners of War illegally executed at the Ardenne Abbey are also interred here.
At Ardenne Abbey 20 Canadians were murdered on orders of Kurt Meyer of Hitler’s SS, 69 years ago.
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