The Thin, Wet Khaki Line: Reflections on the Beach

The battle belonged that morning to the thin, wet line of khaki that dragged itself ashore on the Channel coast of France.”

– Gen. Omar N. Bradley

I just spent a gloriously warm and beautiful summer day at Omaha Beach in Normandy, the tip of the spear in the famous invasion to wrest Europe back from the Nazis in June, 1944.

Monuments, museums and cemeteries abound along the northern coast of Normandy. But even in places where there’s nothing visible to the eye except beige sand, aqua blue water and bikini-clad sunbathers, there’s a weight that pulls from beneath the surface, an undertow of sorrow, as though the enormity of the events of 67 summers ago have left an indelible mark on the land here.

(continue reading …)

About liammoriarty

I'm a journalist living in Seattle and Europe. This blog is to explore the connections and commonalities between Western Europe and the Pacific Northwest.
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2 Responses to The Thin, Wet Khaki Line: Reflections on the Beach

  1. mike stolmeier says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful Normandy impressions – I walked in the footsteps of three uncles on those same beaches and memorials on Veteran’s day ’09 – stormy, lonely, moving, somber and somehow heroic.
    I highly recommend a visit to the nearby Channel Islands, especially for those of us with an islander’s perspective. My favorites are Jersey (insider contacts available) and Aldernay (another world in itself).

  2. liammoriarty says:

    Thanks, Mike. Glad you enjoyed the post …

    We actually live not far from the channel coast and we’ve thought of visiting Jersey and Guernsey. Don’t know much about Aldernay … If we decide to do it I’ll drop you a line …


    — Liam

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