More than seventy years following the D-Day Landings of 6 June 1944, Normandy's war heritage continues to intrigue visitors and researchers. Receiving well over two million visitors a year, the Normandy landscape of war is among the most visited cultural sites in France. This book explores the significant role that heritage and tourism play in the present day with regard to educating the public as well as commemorating those who fought.
The book examines the perspectives, experiences and insights of those who work in the field of war heritage in the region of Normandy where the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy occurred. In this volume practitioner authors represent a range of interrelated roles and responsibilities. These perspectives include national and regional governments and coordinating agencies involved in policy, planning and implementation; war cemetery commissions; managers who oversee particular museums and sites; and individual battlefield tour guides whose vocation is to research and interpret sites of memory.
Often interviewed as key informants for scholarly articles, the day-to-day observations, experiences and management decisions of these guardians of remembrance provide valuable insight into a range of issues and approaches that inform the meaning of tourism, remembrance and war heritage as well as implications for the management of war sites elsewhere. Complementing the Normandy practitioner offerings, more scholarly investigations provide an opportunity to compare and debate what is happening in the management and interpretation at other World War II related sites of war memory, such as at Pearl Harbor, Okinawa and Portsmouth, UK.
This innovative volume will be of interest to those interested in remembrance tourism, war heritage, dark tourism, battlefield tourism, commemoration, D-Day and World War II.
1. Introduction: Guardians of memory, war heritage and the relationship to remembrance 2. Rebuilding from scrap: The efforts of the D-Day Commemoration Committee 3. Competence, courage, and sacrifice: Telling the story at Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial 4. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission: the Normandy experience 5. The German War Cemetery at La Cambe 6. The wheels of history; the Juno Beach Centre as a conveyer belt. 7. The Utah Beach Museum: An evolution in commemoration 8. Pegasus Memorial Museum: Heritage of the British Airborne 9. From pilgrimage to tourism: The evolution of battlefield tourism 10. Preserving the memory of D-Day and the battle of Normandy through the German lens 11. The relevance of myth in the D-Day tour narrative 12. Towards an informed memory: the work of the Canadian Battlefields Foundation in Normandy 13. Saving D-Day: Changing perceptions of Overlord 14. The Mémorial de Caen: A museum for peace 15. Two medics and rows of pews: The church at Angoville au Plain as a site of memory 16. We remember D-Day: the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth, UK 17. Conclusion