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As I near the end of my Normandy Institute experience, it seems appropriate to share with my readers some of the more fascinating artifacts I've had the chance to see over here.

A Jeep. This one is mocked up as a British Jeep, which reminds me of how our supplies often went to our Allies. According to readings, the Jeep also amazed the French civilians (as did the staggering amount of stuff our soldiers brought, handed out, and left behind). The Jeep might be the best symbol of our industrial prowess. 

The actual Pegasus Bridge. This is a bridge seized by British glider troops. It was moved a short distance from the canal. This might have been the first part of France liberated in the early of D-Day. 

A C-47 with its victory stripes. I've seen C-47's (workhorses for the U.S. Air Force) before, but I've never had the chance to get up above. I got that chance at the Airborne Museum. 

Artifacts from occupied France: money and ration coupons. At today's cemetery tour we heard a woman tell us of how her older relatives recounted the days of occupation. It's hard for me to imagine how dark those days were. 

I absolutely love the term "red ball" which I believe was the era's slang for responsibly hurrying. 

Great photograph at Utah Beach museum. It's of a U.S. soldier taking in a Germany P.O.W. The caption indicates the probability that the flag was given to him by an American officer who wanted to better stage the photograph. 

A Higgins Boat. Maybe this was a more appropriate symbol of our industrial might. The thousands of landing craft that made D-Day possible weren't even invented yet on December 1, 1942. 
A Sherman tank behind an obstacle of the sort standing on the beaches on June 6. 
Of course there were many other artifacts of interest on this trip. But these seemed the most meaningful, made more so because of the readings and lectures we had. This was a trip of sites, however, more than stuff, and I look forward to telling you about those sites next.


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