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My favorite photos capture small details of a place that would be forgotten if not for the picture.  On a family trip to Japan several years ago, my mother made endless fun of me for zooming in and snapping photos of nubs cast into a decorative post at some temple.  But after seeing my photos, she admitted that the nubs were her favorite picture.

Details matter.  Especially at an excessively overphotographed tourist site — everyone shoots the landscape, so their capture looks no different than that taken by their neighbor three years ago.  So I prefer shooting the overlooked details that make a photo stand out and a place more memorable.

Our French nuclear facilities tour concluded in the Normandy region on a Friday night, so we spent our Saturday visiting the historic WWII sites and beaches en route back to Paris.  Our first stop was Sainte-Mère-Église, a small town best known for American paratrooper John Steele becoming suspended from the church tower during the D-Day landings.  The little Gothic church now keeps a mannequin of an American solider, with a parachute flapping in the wind, tangled on the spires.

The church is positioned on a central town square covered in this strange red cinder-like rock.

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Bullet holes from the D-Day combat are still visible in the church’s exterior walls.

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Candles for “peace and reconciliation” are available with donation.

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The stained glass panes in the church are all dedicated to the D-Day landings.  This window commemorates the 25th anniversary of D-Day, when many of the veterans returned to visit the church.

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Outside the church was this shuttered merry-go-round.  I found its bright pink color rather eerie against the rainy, grey sky.  This turned out to be my favorite photo of the trip.

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