Images of Allied forces storming the beaches at Normandy for the battle that would ultimately lead to the liberation of Paris and the rest of Europe, and end World War II, speak to several living generations. As part of a class called, “Telling the D-Day Story,” we have been examining the role of D-Day in cultural memory and are now getting ready to travel to Normandy and Paris for activities observing the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Normandy.
Twenty-two of us, 2 faculty and 20 students, will attend and report on commemorative activities, including visits to the Normandy beaches, museums, memorials and the American Cemetery, June 4-14. We’ll explore Caen, where 2,000 French civilians were killed during the 30-day battle for control of that town. Our travels, which will include four days in Normandy and six days in Paris, will offer student journalists, writers, photographers and videographers, opportunities to connect with this important piece of world history. We also will report on how Paris is commemorating the city’s liberation by Allied forces.
The 70th anniversary observations will be an interesting site from which to think about how the D-Day story is told and retold, how it is connected to the broader narrative of World War II, and who will tell the story now as the original generation, most remaining members in their 90s, die.
Written by Vivian B. Martin, Professor and Chair, Department of Journalism, Central Connecticut State University.
Here is a list of some of the participants on the trip:
Vivian Martin, Ph.D.
Professor/Chair, Department of Journalism
Assistant Professor, Central Connecticut State University
Devin Leith Yessian
Multimedia Journalist, Photojournalist
History Major, Writer