Overview

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France is located in Colleville-sur-Mer, on the site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery, established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944 as the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. The cemetery site, at the north end of its half mile access road, covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of 9,385 of our military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. On the Walls of the Missing, in a semicircular garden on the east side of the memorial, are inscribed 1,557 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.

The memorial consists of a semicircular colonnade with a loggia at each end containing large maps and narratives of the military operations; at the center is the bronze statue, “Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves.” An orientation table overlooking the beach depicts the landings in Normandy. Facing west at the memorial, one sees in the foreground the reflecting pool; beyond is the burial area with a circular chapel and, at the far end, granite statues representing the United States and France.

In 2007, the Normandy Visitors Center opened. The $30 million visitor center was dedicated by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) on June 6, 2007 during the commemoration of the 63rd Anniversary of D-Day. The center is sited in a wooded area of the cemetery approximately 100 meters east of the Garden of the Missing. In addition to exhibits, the center includes three visitor films: Letters, On Their Shoulders, and Ok, Let's Go. Letters is shown in the auditorium on the lower level of the visitor center every 30 minutes.

Learn more about the architecture, exhibits, inscriptions, and the project team.

Normandy is ABMC's most visited cemetery, receiving approximately one million visitors each year. Due to the high number of visitors, forms must be submitted to cemetery staff for group visits requesting special tours or wreath-laying ceremonies. Download the Tour Request Form in English and French, the Wreath-Laying Request Form in English, or the Wreath-Laying Request Form in French.

Due to security concerns, the pathway from Normandy American Cemetery to the beach was closed to the public in 2016. However, public beach access is available nearby.

 

Dedicated:
Location: France
Burials:
9385
Missing in Action:
1557
Acres:
172.50
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Cemetery Information

Visiting Hours

The cemetery is open to the public daily, except on December 25 and January 1. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April 15 to September 15, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the rest of the year. Admission to the cemetery ends 15 minutes before closing time. It is open on host country holidays. When the cemetery is open, staff members are on duty in the visitor center to answer questions and escort relatives to grave and memorial sites.

Contact Us

Normandy American Cemetery
American Cemetery
14710
Colleville-sur-Mer
France

Visitor Center

In 2007, the Normandy Visitors Center opened. The $30 million visitor center was dedicated by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) on June 6, 2007 during the commemoration of the 63rd Anniversary of D-Day. The center is sited in a wooded area of the cemetery approximately 100 meters east of the Garden of the Missing. In addition to exhibits, the center includes three visitor films: Letters, On Their Shoulders, and Ok, Let's Go. Letters is shown in the auditorium on the lower level of the visitor center every 30 minutes. Entrance to the visitor center is free.

Directions

GPS Coordinates: 49° 20' 55" N , 0° 51' 17" W

Normandy American Cemetery sits on a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel, east of St. Laurent-sur-Mer and northwest of Bayeux in Colleville-sur-Mer.

Travel via Car
Travel via highway A-13 towards Caen. Continue on N-13 to Bayeux and Formigny. Continue on D-517 towards St. Laurent-sur-Mer and D-514 to Colleville-sur-Mer. Signs mark the entrance to the cemetery.

Travel via Train
There is rail service between Paris (Gare St. Lazare) and Bayeux, where taxis and tour bus service is available. Travel by rail takes three hours.

Travel via Airplane
Paris is approximately 170 miles east of the cemetery.

Lodging
Hotels are available in Bayeux and Port-en-Bessin. 

Dogs
Dogs are not permitted in the cemetery, unless it is a service animal.

Access to Omaha Beach:
Due to security concerns, the pathway from Normandy American Cemetery to the beach was closed to the public in 2016. However, public beach access is available nearby.

Omaha Beach can be accessed by taking D514 west from the cemetery to St Laurent sur Mer. Take the first exit at the traffic circle. This road will take you to the beach, where there is plenty of parking.

Omaha Beach can also be accessed by taking D514 east from the cemetery to Colleville sur Mer. As you enter the town of Colleville there will be a road to your left.  Follow this road all the way down to the grass parking lot.

 

News & Events

Download this infographic to see where ABMC sites are located throughout the world.

Sixty-three years after Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, a new visitor center opens at Normandy American Cemetery in France.

Remarks as delivered by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates at the dedication of the Normandy American Cemetery Visitors Center.

Remarks as delivered by General Frederick M. Franks, Jr., USA (Ret), Chairman, American Battle Monuments Commission at the dedication of the Normandy American Cemetery Visitors Center.