Guided Tours to Allow Visitors to Learn About Historic WWII Battles, Pay Respects
On June 6, 1944, and during that long, hot and hard summer to follow, men young and old came to Normandy from all over the world to defeat Nazism and re-establish freedom. Throughout this coming summer, Normandy, located in northern France, will lend respect and remembrance through a series of rich and unprecedented celebrations and ceremonies to bring the memory of this tragic period of history to life.
Preparations on a vast scale started months before the morning of June 6 in southern England. The Allies had divided the 60-mile coastal stretch into five sectors, condemned Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah. Out west at Omaha and Utah, American forces landed with fierce bravery and pure gut determination. D-Day has come to be seen as a great triumph for the Allies, but that doesn’t mean those who landed didn’t encounter tough German resistance and suffer some terrible tragedies from the start.
Bentley Hedges, founder of Bentley Hedges Travel Service in 1970, has traveled worldwide with amazing recollections of historical sites, grand hotels and sailing on cruise ships that carry anywhere from 100 to 6,000 people. But, he has never had the opportunity to personally pay his respects to those who took part in the D-Day Landing, including family friends and family members who were at Normandy. Bentley’s brother Harry, a staff sergeant and a tail gunner on a B29 in the Army Air Corp, served in World War II in the South Pacific Theatre He was the only survivor when his plane was shot down by the Japanese, and he was captured and taken as a prisoner of war, where he suffered brutal treatment. (After returning to the States after the war, Harry became a successful businessman; he passed at the age of 56.)
For those whose relatives fought during World War II, visiting these historic battle sites can be an emotional experience. This summer, Bentley will be joining a small group to Normandy to tour the Landing Beaches and visit the remembrance museums and memorials. His vast knowledge of the entire World War II campaign will greatly lend reflections to the entire experience.
Globus Family of Brands offers pre-packaged escorted tours to World War II-D-Day Landings and Normandy. With Globus, the tour and details are scheduled and arranged in advance. You don’t waste your time wondering what to do next. You will visit the key sites and enjoy special features and often have skip-the-line passes into museums and memorials. When you travel on an escorted tour with one of the Globus Family of Brands, you will travel with an experienced licensed guide who has had to complete years of experience learning the history. They are anxious to share their knowledge with you, making your tour even more enriched.
If you have ever wanted to visit Normandy, this is the year to do it. The summer will be filled with celebrations, memorials and humble remembrances. As an example, Globus Family of Brands is offering a five-night World War II D-Day Landing and Battle of Normandy tour from Paris. This tour will start with an orientation in Paris, followed the next day to Caen, where you will visit the Memorial Museum for Peace. Next you will travel to Arromanches to experience a 360 Circular Cinema, where you will feel like you are part of the battle. Here you will also see the remains of the Mulberry Harbour, a temporary harbor built by the Allies to quickly offload men and cargo onto the beaches during the invasion of Normandy.
On Day Three, you will take an excursion to the Landing Beaches with a drive to Utah Beach to see the memorials and visit the museum. Then, in Sainte-Mere-Eglise, you will visit the Airborne Museum, located next to the church where John Steele’s parachute got caught in one of the steeples, as portrayed in the movie The Longest Day. (A side note: when my father was in the Army, he was assigned to be an Airborne Paratrooper against his wishes. He told me he never liked to jump and could see “absolutely no good reason for jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.” But he did!)
On Day Four, you will visit the Canadian Cemetery, and then it’s on to Juno Beach Center to visit the exhibitions, the bunker and the Memorial to Canadians. In the nearby Bernieres-sur-Mer, you can take remembrance photos of the Canada House. After what I am sure will be an emotional tour, you will return to Paris, where you can extend your trip for a few days.
Globus Family of Brands, including Cosmos and Monograms and Avalon River Cruises, offer a wide variety of WWII tours. You may wish to extend your stay in France and enjoy a French Sampler to travel south to Nice and Monte Carlo, or a 15-day LA’ France Tour that will completely circle France, including Normandy beaches. A favorite of many is a seven-night cruise on an Avalon River Cruise on the Seine River from Paris to Normandy.
Globus Journey’s catch phrase is “The world is waiting; we’ll take you there.” So, start fulfilling your Wanderlust (n. a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world) and travel! The memories you will make will last a lifetime. Just ask Bentley Hedges; he has 49 years of terrific travel memories.