We’ve had so many visitors this summer, we’ve had a chance to explore more of the D-Day sites. I think the one I find most compelling is Pointe du Hoc. 250 hand-picked Army Rangers were sent to this outcrop of land that juts into the ocean. Their assignment was to scale the cliffs and take out the big enemy guns that defended the Point. They achieved their goal, but at great cost. Only 90 survived.


The land at Pointe du Hoc is above the ocean, so it hasn’t been washed clean by the waves. It still has all the scars of a fierce battle. The landscape is riddled with giant craters made from heavy bombing, cement rubble is found throughout the area, and many of the original defensive structures are still standing.


For such a serious place, it’s surprisingly easy for children to visit. They can climb and explore and run as much as they like. They don’t even have to watch their volume, because the ocean wind tempers every noise.


But if you do bring your kids, leave the food behind. There are no picnics allowed at Pointe du Hoc — there are no graves here, but it’s considered a burial ground.