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Saturday, November 10, 2018

LuxuryTravelDocs Gives 5 ⭐️ Stars to for Your Visit to Normandy, France!

This Veterans Day Americans around the world will honor their fellow citizens who have served their country.

LTD had the honor of visiting American D-Day Normandy Sites with Florin Petre, owner of  The Normandy landings were the landing operations on Tuesday, June 6, 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II.  Enjoy our interview with Florin, and a view of our day together.  Wait for the end to understand how meaningful a day this was for us and every visitor to Normandy.  That is what it is all about...

Florin makes the day meaningful by including many stories about the INDIVIDUALS who participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy.  Here are a couple of the stories we heard and the souls whom we visited:

Elizabeth A. Richardson, one of the four women whose bodies are buried in The American Cemetery in Normandy

 Elizabeth Richardson who was a Red Cross Volunteer who served in England and France from 1944-1945. After graduating from Milwaukee-Downer College, Richardson got an advertising job in Milwaukee. However, after becoming more concerned about her friends fighting abroad, in early 1944 she volunteered for the American Red Cross along with two classmates from college.   At the Le Havre airport on the morning of July 25, 1945, Richardson was flying in a two-seat military aircraft to Paris when the aircraft crashed near Rouen. Richardson and the pilot, Sgt. William R. Miller of the Ninth Air Force, died instantly. She was 27 years old.

Elizabeth "Liz" Richardson is one of the four women who are buried in The American Cemetery in Normandy 

Twin brothers died side by side in World War II. Now they’re finally buried side by side.

Julius H.O. Pieper -- Through the work of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the remains of Radioman 2nd Class Julius H.O. Pieper were accounted for in 2017. His name is permanently inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at Normandy American Cemetery. The remains of Julius were interred with full military honors at Normandy American Cemetery, France, on June 19, 2018. He was buried next to his twin brother, Ludwig. On June 19, 1944, the brothers were serving aboard Landing Ship Tank Number 523 (LST-523), off the coast of Normandy, France. The ship exploded and sank after striking a German mine, killing both Julius and Ludwig. In the years following the incident, the remains of Julius were not recovered or identified. His twin brother, Radioman 2nd Class Ludwig J. Pieper, was recovered and buried at Normandy American Cemetery. At the request of the Pieper family, the grave of Ludwig was relocated in 2018 to a new location in the cemetery that will allow the brothers to rest side by side.

Julius Pieper's (left) remains were recently identified by DNA analysis and he is now interred next to his twin brother Ludwig in Normandy.

From The American Cemetery to Omaha Beach, to Pointe du Hoc, Utah Beach, and Saint Mere Eglise we went through the day comfortably, efficiently and with many poignant moments.  There was not a question to which Florin did not know the answer, even when we asked information about Medieval Normandy, or other aspects of The Great World Wars, not having anything to do with Normandy! 

Lunch was a great break at Le Roosevelt Cafe, named for Teddy Roosevelt Jr, where the food and drinks were authentic and the service warm and inviting.  Roosevelt is known for his World War II service, including the directing of troops at Utah Beach during the Normandy landings, for which he received the Medal of Honor, and he is buried in The American Cemetery that we visited earlier in the day.  The patio was packed with tourists, cyclists and locals alike enjoying the warm day.  Over lunch we were entertained with stories about "Band of Brothers" who's actors visited Normandy many times.  Great location that is fifty yards from Utah Beach entrance, and their specialty is local mussels a local tradition.  The owner is passionate about the location's history and has so much memorabilia, you could easily spend hours at this location alone!

Le Roosevelt's owner Monsieur Méthivier made his business partially in a former bunker of the Atlantikwall

The final thrill of the day was a visit to The Bayeux tapestry and everyone was amazed when Florin rattled off viking, medieval French and English history like any University Professor!  Measuring twenty inches high and almost 230 feet in length, the Bayeux Tapestry commemorates a struggle for the throne of England between William, the Duke of Normandy, and Harold, the Earl of Wessex.  The year was 1066—William invaded and successfully conquered England, becoming the first Norman King of England known as William the Conqueror.

The Bayeux Tapestry commemorates the Victory of William the Conquerer

Florin is a clear World War II and history enthusiast and LTD gives five stars!

Don't forget a good set of binoculars to view the sites on the Normandy Beaches if you can't get close, like bunkers and artificial harbor remains!  

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