Le jour J

jour-jJune 6, 1944 marks the date of the Allied invasion of Normandy to liberate France from Nazi occupation. It was originally scheduled to take place on June 5 but was postponed due to bad weather. Approximately 156,000 Allied troops participated in the expedition and roughly 4,400 of them died, although accurate records were hard to maintain. This operation led to the liberation of Paris and victory in Europe. One of my students recently met a survivor of one of the camps in Europe who immigrated to the United States, enlisted in the US armed forces and returned to Europe as one of those Jour J combattants.

ecole_est_finieLe jour J (luh zjoor zjee) is the French equivalent of D-Day. Jour means “day” and the J just refers to jour again. The expression can also apply to the date of any important event, like a wedding, graduation, or the day you’re leaving for a trip to Paris. Tomorrow, a jour J for me will be the end of this school year, which marks the conclusion of my time at the school where I’ve taught French for the past eight years. Another will be the first day of school in September when I start my new teaching job in Princeton.

51QSU12vX8L__SL75_D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Battle for the Normandy Beaches

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About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French and English teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France.
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6 Responses to Le jour J

  1. Norman Ball says:

    Congratulations on the new teaching job. Hope it goes well.

    Norman, a now retired teacher from secondary and university various levels

  2. Congrats — et bon courage!

    My birthday is June 6 and I was always intensely curious about D-Day. I really did not realize what tremendous sacrifices the Canadians made as well and Jose took me to Normandy to the beaches and to the Canadian cemetery — in which every stone has an incised maple leaf and a grove of maple trees. I wept hard. I had no idea.

    • We were often in the front lines, so our losses were particularly high. My husband’s uncle was one of those young Canadians. He was wounded in the leg, which probably saved his life. My uncle, a paratrooper fighting for the UK survived D-Day, but died in the next big push in late August of 1944. Now there’s chemical warfare in Syria. When will we learn?

  3. Pingback: Paris libéré, Paris photographié, Paris exposé | One quality, the finest.

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