France / Monument
The city of Ouistreham presents three commemorative sites dedicated to the history of D-Day: the German Bunker, the Museum of 4th Commando and the Monument of the Flame. The museum and the monument pay tribute to the French commandos who landed on Sword Beach on 6 June 1944.
The Museum of 4th Commando is a place of remembrance dedicated to the French commandos of D-Day, particularly the 4th Commando, and stands in front of today’s Casino in Ouistreham. The museum's aim is to explain who the commandos were and what they achieved, in order to keep their memory and example alive.
Managed by the Amicale des anciens du 1er Bataillon de Fusiliers Marins Commandos, the museum was renovated in 2008 and includes multimedia materials, in particular the projection of archives from the Imperial War Museum of London. Today the museum is at the heart of the D-Day ceremonies and stands close to the Monument of the Flame.
This monument was unveiled on 6 June 1984 by President François Mitterand and has become one of the main centres of remembrance in the Sword Beach sector. The chosen site is a former Atlantic Wall blockhouse, surmounted by a French armoured turret taken from the Maginot line. This was one of the structures neutralised by the French on 6 June 1944.
The monument, in the form of a flame, symbolises the D-Day landings and carries the names of the 177 marines fusiliers who landed at Colleville-sur-Orne. Opposite the monument are ten headstones bearing the names of ten soldiers who fell at Ouistreham on 6 June 1944. Each of the seven stairs leading to the monument symbolises a fallen commando between the monument and the casino. Finally, a stone structure, the work of the sculptor Petrus, stands above the others and is dedicated to Commander Kieffer.