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Normandy American Cemetery Welcome Screen

The Memorial

The memorial is flanked by the garden of the missing to the east and the reflecting pool on the west. The memorial structure consists of a semicircular colonnade with gallery housing battle maps at each end and a large bronze sculpture in the open area formed by its arc. 

The loggias and colonnade are made of Vaurion, a French limestone from the Cote d’Or region. Centered in the open arc of the memorial facing the graves area is a 22-foot tall bronze statue, The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves, created by the American sculptor Donald De Lue. The statue stands on a rectangular pedestal of Ploumanach granite from Brittany, France. Encircling the pedestal of the statue on the floor in bronze letters is the inscription: MINE EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY OF THE COMING OF THE LORD.

On the interior walls of the loggia are maps depicting several operations of World War II including the landing at Normandy on June 6, 1944, air operations over Normandy during March through August 1944,  and military operations in western Europe from June 6, 1944 to May 8, 1945. The maps in each loggia were designed by Robert Foster of New York City and executed by Maurice Schmit of Paris, France.

Map depicting "The Amphibious Assault Landing" on June 6, 1944.
Map depicting "The Landings on the Normandy Beaches".
Map depicting "Military Operations in Western Europe".

Located in the tall rectangular openings in the east and west walls of each loggia is a large bronze urn on which two different scenes in high relief were sculpted. These urns were designed by De Lue and depict a range of scenes symbolic of war, honor, victory, resurrection, eternal life, hope and peace. 

An urn relief featured at the memorial of a figure representative of God moving over water. The laurel symbolizes those who lost their lives at sea.

The ceilings of the loggias are of blue ceramic tile by Gentil et Bourdet of Paris.  The floor of the open area within the arc is surfaced with pebbles taken from the invasion beach below the cliff and embedded in mortar. Each aspect of the memorial is dedicated to honoring the men and women who lost their lives during the invasion of Normandy and subsequent operations in World War II.