Article by David Houle.

June 2024

80th Anniversary of D-Day / Curated Quote

So that the spirit that carried these men on June 6, 1944 continues to inspire us, reminding us that together, it is always possible to change the future

                                    Anilore Banon [French Sculptress 1957 - ]



Today, I'm breaking my usual posting pattern [of more than one curated quote in a week] to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day. It's a unique moment as there are roughly 100 D-Day survivors still with us, many of whom are in Normandy today, possibly for the last time. They are all between 98 and 103 years old. This could be their final chance to visit and reminisce with their comrades.

The quote is from Anilore Banon, the French sculptress who won the commission to create a monument to honor all those involved with D-Day.  Her sculpture was placed on the beach in 2004, the 60th anniversary of the day; more on Ms. Banon is below.

My 21-year-old son and I visited Normandy in 2008.  It was a trip I will never forget. The day we toured the beaches, we came upon the sign and the sculpture in the middle of the day at Omaha Beach.  The quote was on a plaque, and the sculpture stood a hundred yards away on the beach.


As a futurist, part of  her quote " It is always possible to change the future” deeply resonated with me.  There is simply no argument with that statement when reflecting on D-Day.  [One of the reasons for the Evolutionshift Newsletter is just that:  the people alive today can change the future.  Particularly when change is what the future is about.]

The day the two of us spent on the beaches and cemeteries of Normandy was one of the most deeply moving days of my life.  I urge anyone, particularly any American or French citizen, to visit this place.  As a young man,  I read “The Longest Day” by Cornelius Ryan and was therefore familiar with some of the towns and the stories.   It is arguably the most historic day of the 20th century in terms of bravery, mission, emotion, death, and consequence.

The French treat it as one of their most hallowed places.  I remembered, from the book, the story of the brave paratrooper who, in the pre-dawn, got stuck at the top of the village’s church steeple.  When the sun came up the Nazi soldiers saw him hanging helpless and shot him. We went to that town.  In 2008, and probably still today, that village has a dummy replica of that soldier and his parachute hanging where he was shot.

Endless such sites we saw that day. [ This is one of the very few posts I have made with tears now streaming down my cheeks in memory of June 6, 1944 and the day we were there. Sorry].

We toured the American and Canadian. British and German cemeteries.  Every single gravestone, of course, had one common end date; 6/06/44.  Thousands of graves, all with the same date for end of life.  Where else can one see that?

Two things about the cemeteries that have always stayed with me.  First, the fact that a majority of the German gravesites were for soldiers born in 1925-26.  They were 18 years old!  The Third Reich was already losing the war and sending its youth to defend Normandy.

The second thing is the feeling my son and I felt when touring the American cemetery/ memorial/ museum.  We arrived between 2:30 and 2:45 in the afternoon.  Near the entrance is the monument to the unknown soldiers [as I recall].  There is a carillon there that plays during the quarter hour.  At 2:45 it played “The Battle Hymn of the Republic. The sound of the carillon - similar to cathedral bells - was the most moving rendition of the song I have ever heard.


Talk about emotional!  It had us at hello.  We then toured the museum, which had the full story of the preparation for the landing, including pictures of General Eisenhower sitting with the troops, waiting for the weather report to decide that June 6 would be the day.  We walked the graveyard, and as we left after a couple of hours, my son turned to me and said  “I have never been more proud to be an American.


Yes!  Absolutely!


If you have not been to Normandy, go!


I didn’t know anything about Anilore Banon until I read her quote and saw her sculpture.  She is a French artist who lives in Casablanca, Morrocco.  She has a big humanistic vision with all her work.  She is currently working on a solar-powered sculpture for the moon's surface. I think she is perhaps one of the most creative, bring-the-world-together artists alive today. It is worth your time to view the videos below when you can.

Women Who Make A Difference

May 2024

Reportage Le Parisien

December 2022

"Braves" - Le livre pour le 75e anniversaire du D-Day

June 2019

A tribute to the Braves who landed on June 6, 1944 on the beach of Omaha in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer.

A tribute to the courage of those who stand against barbarism throughout the world.

A tribute to those who work to make our world a better place.

«Les Braves», a monumental sculpture by Anilore Banon erected on this mythical Normandy beach finds itself at the crossroads of these three moments. An artwork for rememberance, to inspire people and give  hope to future generations.

15 tons of stainless steel, 15 meters wide, 9 meters high… partly covered or  totally exposed depending on the tides “Les Braves”is a unique technical feat, a true testament from a humanist and committed artist.

This beautiful book recounts bravery through this sculpture and the visions of great witnesses such as Alain Etchegoyen, le Général Boutinaud, Jean Todt, Christiane Amanpour

Exposition Peaux d'Âmes

March 2015

Jusqu'au 28 mars 2015, Anilore Banon présente une exposition à la mairie du 9ème arrondissement à Paris, intitulée "Peaux d'âmes", où elle rend hommage aux femmes victimes de violences et d'injustices.

Voir le portrait réalisé par France 3 Paris Ile de France.

Voir l'article publié sur Culturebox "Violences faites aux femmes : Anilore Banon à fleur de peau".



June-July 2014

Time Magazine

June 2014