By Kiley Krzyzek
There was a strong sense of déjà vu during the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy as Army jeeps passed down streets lined with American and French flags.
Amid this, Nicolas Guydn, 19, who was at Utah beach, was one of a number of young men dressed in uniform as soldiers. Guydn had traveled from Brittany with a group of friends to re-enact a battle, representing the 90th Infantry Division, the ‘Tough Hombres’ who fought to control Utah and then moved into towns to liberate them.
“It’s a pleasure; we have to remember that. This is the main reason, the memory,” said Guydn.
The re-enactors could be seen throughout the area during the commemoration activities, on the beaches, towns such as Sainte-Marie-du-Mont and Pointe du Hoc, where US Army Rangers, under heavy fire, heroically assaulted a 100 foot cliff overlooking the English Channel.
“A lot of research went into getting everything as accurate as possible,” said Guydn. “It’s real work documenting.”
Guydn said he used history books, photos, and films as resources to understand the battles and role of the 90th division.
The re-enactors also got to meet actual members of divisions such as the 90th, with Guydn and others acting as escorts for some of the returning veterans such as Tom Ingram, a machine gunman who fought on Utah Beach on D-Day +1. American re-enactors also participated in the anniversary activities.
“Every information we could collect we did,” Guydn said.
“This information is very important to us. It’s not just reenactment; it’s another side of it that you can’t see.”