The D-Day Visitor’s Handbook: Your Guide to the Normandy Battlefields and WWII Paris not only provides the history of the battle, but describes the best places to visit as many people use Paris as a starting point, Dennehy said.
âThe organizers expect more than 2 million visitors for the 75th anniversary in June. They will want to know what sites to visit, where to stay and even to shop, âhe said. âTo take breaks in the many cemeteries and monuments, there is local cheese to eat and Calvados and cider to drink.â
Dennehy first became interested in the Normandy invasion in 2001 when veterans visited his National Guard unit in Bosnia to tell incredible battle stories. âThey were among the first waves of the landing force. Very brave men who were old then – and most of them are gone now, âhe said. âThis year is the 75th anniversary, so it might be the last Norman veterans attend. If we don’t tell their stories and commemorate where they fell, who will? “
After several trips to Normandy, and not finding detailed information on where to go and what to see, Dennehy decided to write a guide with Steve Powers, a retired history teacher and US graduate. Naval Academy.
âI have been fascinated by stories of valor for many years. However, my trips to Normandy were marred by driving, losing and ignoring the most important sites to see, âhe said.
The book tells about off the beaten track sites, not just the Omaha Beach American Cemetery, which was made famous in the opening scenes of the 1990s film, “Saving Private Ryan.”
Additionally, the D-Day Visitor’s Handbook provides detailed battlefield maps, describes tours, and identifies memorials, hotels, restaurants and museums in Normandy and Paris.
Dennehy, a retired Army National Guard Colonel, will sign books at Foreign Wars Veterans Station 2104 in North Andover on May 21 at 6:30 p.m.
The D-Day Visitor’s Handbook: Your Guide to the Normandy Battlefields and WWII Paris, published by Skyhorse and distributed by Simon and Schuster, is available April 30.