Landing beaches: the Utah Beach museum threatened by rising waters

“Every storm from the East, I’m scared…” Charles de Vallavieille is mayor of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, the town that is home to Utah Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the world, where thousands landed of soldiers, especially Americans, on the morning of June 6, 1944. At the edge of the beach, stands since 1962 a museum responsible for this terrible history, today potentially threatened by the rising waters and theerosion dunes.

“The entire southern part of the bay is clogged. And it is impossible to predict what may happen in the years and even months to come. This is a question that upsets me, ”breathes the mayor. And for good reason… It was his own father, mayor of the town from 1949 to 1991, who created this museum. “We try to fight as best we can against the elements. We add 7,000 m3 of sand every two years. Beachgrass is planted to fix the dune. But we don’t know if that will be enough. »

“Can we imagine leaving Verdun abandoned? »

The only safe solution would be to move the museum. But it is out of the question for the elected official: “The Littoral law formally prevents us from moving it elsewhere on the beach. Moving it away from the coast and the Landing site would be contrary to any duty of memory. Its place is here. Can you imagine leaving Verdun abandoned like this? The museum should stay on the beach, where it all happened. It is up to us to try to defend it. »

And to conclude, obviously moved: “Veterans are rare. But the last ones who came look me in the eye and say: Charles, we are now counting on you to protect our museum. Needless to say how much it goes straight to my heart.

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