Home > 20th Century > World War II > National Guard Memorial Omaha Beach

This U-shaped granite box memorial honors all those “citizen-soldiers” of the National Guard who served in Europe in World War I and II. National Guard units landed as part of the Normandy assault on June 6, 1944. On the ends of the memorial are bronze plaques thanking the people of Vierville-sur-Mer for helping to build and preserve this memorial and the valiant Free French Forces who also fought to liberate this land. The inside walls of the memorial are inscribed with the stirring story of the National Guard units who fought during World Wars I and II; in addition are quotes from General s Pershing and Eisenhower. The inscriptions are in English and French. On the outside walls of the box are quotes from Winston Churchill and Charles de Gualle. The memorial sits on what was a German defensive blockhouse that guarded the Vierville exit from the beach. From the memorial you have a great view of the western end of Omaha Beach. This memorial is at the spot where the U.S. forces suffered their greatest casualties on June 6; it is here that the town of Bedford, Virginia suffered the greatest percentage casualties per its population of any US town and it is below this spot that the famous opening scene of the film “Saving Private Ryan” is set.

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