A visit to the idyllic beaches of Normandy provides few indications of what went on there in the late spring and early summer of 1944. The invasion of Normandy, which began on June 6 of that year, involved parachute and glider landings, air attacks and naval bombardments and amphibious landings. Inflicting a decisive defeat on the German forces, the Normandy landings established the Allied forces in France and provided an assist to the Soviets on the Eastern front. But the human cost was great and many troops lost their lives there. Today one can pay homage to this great sacrifice with visits to Pointe du Hoc monument, Omaha Beach and the nearby American Military Cemetery, Gold Beach with its Arromanches Debarkment Museum, Courseulles-sur-Mer and Juno Beach (heavily assaulted by Canadian troops during the Allied attack). Visitors enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the area while learning about, or remembering, the events of World War II.