Photo Essay – Keeping History Alive

It was in July 2009, in the town of St Lô in Normandy, that I met the Carentan Liberty’s Group.  The group was created by local WWII history buffs and collectors. The participants spend several weekends each year reenacting daily scenes of the liberation, mostly concentrating their efforts in the Carentan area. The most unusual characteristic of this group is that it casts entire families. Many young children and their mothers take part in the activities and help keep history alive by sharing stories told by their grandparents and great grandparents who experienced D-Day first-hand in Normandy. The president of the group, Jean-Marie Caillard, indicated to me that, since that part of history is so prevalent in his region, it is of the utmost importance to keep it alive and teach the young generation about the sacrifice of so many who helped liberate France in 1944. The blend of members dressed in US military uniforms and French civilian clothes makes the experience unique and more realistic for the visitor. The Carentan Liberty’s Group is also very eager to show the military equipment used during the reenactments. Its members are very knowledgeable about WWII facts related to the region and beyond. I am particularly sensitive to the work and passion of this group as I am originally from Normandy. My parents, although very young during D-Day on June 6, 1944, still remember the events vividly to this day.


All images are copyrighted and the property of Valerie Jardin Photography.

You can learn more about the Carentan Liberty’s Group by visiting their website:

12 thoughts on “Photo Essay – Keeping History Alive

  1. You have a good eye and some wonderful pictures. One of my Uncles was Navy and he was in charge of a Landing Craft bringing Soldiers ashore at Normand. One of the young Army men he brought ashore was another of my Uncles, his own brother early on the first day. One of my Wife’s Uncles was brought ashore on the second day and later was captured by the Germans just outside the beach area. All three Uncles came through the war okay and I wish I could have shown them these pictures. They would have loved them. Unfortunately they have passed on and rejoined their fellow warriors. I wish you great success with your work, it is beautiful.


  2. Merci à tous pour vos encouragements! Thank you everyone for all your kind words! This post has been very popular! I am planning to meet with the Carentan Liberty’s Group again this summer and hopefully get a lot more pictures!


  3. Hello Valerie,
    Thank you for your nice reportage, your pictures looks very good.
    If you are in Normandy, August 15, you are very welcome with us in Airborne Museum Sainte Mère Eglise, our association make event in this place.

    Hope to see you, thank you very much.
    Carentan Liberty Group association
    502 PIR I Co re-enactor


  4. Hello Valerie,

    I’m the father of the children (Aristide). I’m the man with a hat ! Your pictures are very nice and I thank you very much.


  5. Ouah!! J’adore ton travail sur les détails et les couleurs de l’époque grâce au logiciel… avec un reflex et un bon télé on peut vraiment faire du bon boulot!
    Bonne journée,


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