Sixty percent of American GI families had their sons bodies exhumed and transferred back to the States after the war. Only forty percent of those who died in the campaign have their bodies here. There are other American cemeteries in France and throughout Europe from WWII-- these do not include the thousands more that died in the Pacific. With that perspective in mind, walking through the endless graves of Americans lost in one campaign in one war was overwhelming. Each headstone I passed placed a weight on my heart and shoulders that I cannot begin to describe.
Pointe du Hoc: (note the craters and reminince of German bunkers) this is where the American Army Rangers climbed the cliffs to take out German guns. When they arrived on the heavily bombarded area on June 6th, they found that the Germans had moved the guns, which were now unmanned, but pointed at Utah beach. The Rangers blew them up and held the point until they linked up with the 29th Infantry coming in from Omaha Beach. Casualties were immense.