Peace Day Installation

September 27, 2013

Peace Day Normandy Installation

By Gabrielle. Images from MSN.

Several readers sent me the link to reports of this impactful Peace Day installation on the Normandy D-Day Beaches. You may have seen it already, as I know it’s making the rounds on Facebook. But I wanted to post it here too, because it’s so good, and because I feel so connected to those beaches. And mostly, I love that someone thought of this and made it happen.

The installation featured 9,000 silhouettes of fallen soldiers, made with simple stencils and rakes. And the overall effect is devastating. Maybe even more so, knowing that at the end of the day, the silhouettes washed away with the tide.

I would have loved to see it in person, but I’m grateful for the excellent photos.

Have you ever had the chance to visit the D-Day beaches? Such a beautiful and solemn place.

Peace Day D-Day Installation

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy September 27, 2013 at 11:50 am

Thank you for sharing this – I had not yet seen it. A few years ago on a vacation to France my husband and I visited the D-Day beaches on a guided tour with a small group of six. Although it was August, it was cold and dreary. As we stood on the beach our guide told us the story of D-Day in vivid detail. (He was Dutch and a huge WWII buff). It was very emotional. That is truly sacred ground. That art installation is an incredible way to honor those young men who died on that beach.


2 Sandra Gonzales September 27, 2013 at 11:59 am

I thought the first pic was of Ralph and Ben.


3 Emily Foley September 27, 2013 at 12:18 pm

I visited the beaches of Normandy in 2011. It was heartbreaking and beautiful, an experience I will ever forget. I’ll never forget the words of our guide–that all the crosses face west, towards home, which they would never see again. What a beautiful statement to make for peace.


4 Emily Foley September 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Never! Not ever. :)


5 Shannon { A Mom's Year } September 27, 2013 at 1:04 pm

I saw the installation photos and thought of you right away, too. It hits you right in the solar plexus when you get a sense of just how many lives were lost, doesn’t it? Much the same way I felt the first time I visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.


6 Sarah September 27, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Amazing and inspiring.


7 bestof2sisters September 28, 2013 at 6:35 am

WOW. Incredibly moving.

Thank you for sharing, Gabrielle, I hadn’t seen this. It’s devastatingly stunning.

Camilla x


8 Brindy Ayn September 28, 2013 at 8:03 am

Thank you for sharing this Gabrielle, it is beautiful. My most beloved next door neighbor stormed the beaches of Normandy and lived to share his story. When he told me this I was baffled. Here he stood 5’3″, black and maybe 90 pounds and he survived to share his story. It was an incredible day and I am so grateful that he is lucky enough to cross the beach and live on into his 90s.


9 giulia September 28, 2013 at 11:37 am

it’s so moving that someone took the time to make this idea become a reality!


10 cath September 29, 2013 at 12:28 am

wow, so touching and sadly beautiful. The Caen Memorial impressed me a lot, I went to visit it after it had just opened and I think we should all go there as well as on the D-Day beaches. Thanks for sharing


11 teresa September 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Such honor courage as has never been seen.


12 Janet Thaeler October 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm

I love this – it’s environmentally friendly and impactful. I’ve never seen beach activism before. Incredible.

Blog on


13 Robert Thornley April 18, 2016 at 3:05 pm

My father, Edward Thornley, landed on the third day and lost his religion as a result of what he saw, I can see why in this visualization.


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