Bayeux – The Reporters Memorial
There is a very unique memorial in Bayeux. All over Normandy you will find all sorts of memorials (and cemeteries) for all nationalities that have died during World War II, but this one is different; it’s a memorial for fallen reporters. Journalists that have been killed while doing their job of reporting the truth. But this memorial is not just about WWII, it’s for every year since WWII.
The memorial is located in between the Normandy War museum and the British War Cemetery (about 700 meters from the Notre-Dame cathedral and tapestry) and takes up quite some space. At the entrance, next to the tree is a stone with an inscription:
A saying by Simone de Beauvoir, both in French and English, that says “One may only taste freedom when others around us are free“.
The memorial was commissioned by the Non-Governmental Organisation Reporters Without Borders.
After the stone and its saying, there is a long path with pillars containing a year and all the reporters who have been killed during that year:
Each pillar has a year (some have two, even three years) and the names of each journalist killed on one pillar.
As you can see above 1968, during the Vietnam war, a lot of Asian reporters were killed.
The memorial is current, since it lists all reporters killed this year, and there’s unfortunately enough place to keep this up for many more decades.
A little apart is something that looks like a tombstone:
This looks like the tombstone of Robert Capa, a very famous Hungarian photographer who made some of the most telling photos of WWII (and co-founder of the Magnum photo agency). It is not his real tomb, since he is buried in the USA. Capa died during the Vietnam war when he stepped on a landmine.
A very interesting and unique place. Reporters are killed trying to bring us the truth/news and for that we should be grateful. It’s nice to see one organisation putting in place such a memorial.
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