D-Day: Etched in the sands of time

(Yesterday was the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the June 6, 1944, Normandy invasion — the beginning of the end of World War II. The following post from last September is as appropriate for D-Day as it was for International Peace Day.)

Image: Jean Yves Desfoux/Maxppp /Landov
Image: Jean Yves Desfoux/Maxppp /Landov

British artists Jamie Wardley, 33, and Andy Moss, 50, and a team of volunteers traveled to Arromanches beach, Normandy, to create this haunting reminder of the lives lost during the Operation Neptune landing on June 6, 1944.

Some 9,000 ghostly silhouettes were stenciled into the sand, then left to be washed away a few hours later by the rising tide.

Speaking of the project, titled “The Fallen,” Wardly said, “The idea is to create a visual representation of what is otherwise unimaginable, the thousands of human lives lost during the hours of the tide during the Second World War Normandy landings.”

The artists said they hoped their art, done for international Peace Day, would remind people of the value of peace.

See the story and more pictures: Haunting reminder of millions of lives lost in war as artists stencil 9,000 bodies onto Normandy beach to mark Peace Day

More photos here.

2 thoughts on “D-Day: Etched in the sands of time

  1. The horrors of war have been experienced for all of recorded history, and before the invention of writing, no doubt, but because of the workings of psychology mankind has evolved a kind of denial of their reality. Even with most writers of military history, war’s essence is shrouded by argot designed for denial of its meaning for individuals. Patriotism, courage and cowardice are complex matters.

    There is a critically-acclaimed book on the subject, said to be definitive, and somehow I missed it until now, John Keegan’s The Face of Battle. I’m only 10% into it, but it is already confirming my own thoughts about it. It is not the common view and parsing the matter is a fascinating, albeit uncomfortable, process.

    1. The horrors of war are too easily and quickly forgotten. That’s one reason I find these images so powerful. It’s difficult to picture how many deaths there were on D-Day; it’s difficult to forget these images.

... and that's my two cents