The 70th anniversary of D-Day is today, and 28 members of the Clovis Community Band were on hand at the official commemoration at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where nearly 9,400 American soldiers are buried. Among the speakers was President Obama.
Carol Maul, traveling with her band-member husband, Ken, took these photos. She writes:
We got a police escort to the ceremony — roads were closed except for diplomats — and us!! There were officers at every intersection. It took a LONG time to get up the hill to the site of the ceremony. Once there, our tour guide got us all in as VIPs!!! The American Cemetery at Omaha Beach is a peaceful, serene place — even with 10,000 people milling around!!! Ken Maul, as a veteran playing in the band, was up in front — he stood the entire ceremony but got great shots of the President. Afterwards, President Obama came through the crowd. Ken got to shake his hand and got some excellent shots, and I had made my way up to the front and was only about a foot away from him, but too short to reach him!! It was exciting!!!
In a disappointing twist, members of the band — which joined with four other bands for the event — didn’t get to play at the actual ceremony. A military band played instead. But the band did get to play in the afternoon on the beach close to the site of the ceremony. The Clovis band is also playing separate concerts in England and France.