The beaches at Normandy, where allied forces made landfall on D-Day, are one of the most historically significant places in the world. Yet the D-Day beaches are at risk – Commercial Developers hope to change the landscape around the D-Day beaches with massive wind farms. UNESCO must declare the beaches at Normandy a World Heritage Site to protect the memory of the sacrifices made there for future generations.
Our Boy Scout council serves Americans living in Europe, and 70% of our families are US military families. I have witnessed how these beaches and their history move people. I can see adults teaching youth about sacrifice and how freedom and liberty are never to be taken for granted. It is important that future generations can walk along Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno and Sword and be able to see and understand that task those soldiers undertook in June 1944.
But Developers are trying commercialize in this area – development that will forever change the landscape without taking into consideration the historical context of the beaches.
There is a solution – if UNESCO makes the D-Day beaches a World Heritage Site, it would curtail commercial development or permit it in such a way that the historical significance is not lost. There will be a great deal of media and personal interest in the 70th Anniversary. If the beaches are not protected now when there is heightened interest in D-Day and Veterans, they will be subject to local interests in the future.
This isn’t just about honoring the Veterans by protecting these beaches. It is about allowing those who follow up the opportunity to learn our history and to see and to feel the experience. Join us in asking UNESCO to protect the D-Day beaches for future generations by declaring them a World Heritage Site.