UM pays respects at Normandy American Cemetery

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Michigan's flower arrangement at the base of the "Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves" sculpture.

Colleville-Sur-Mer, France — The note was somber on a gray, cold, rainy and windy day at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial on Sunday.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and his team held a special wreath-laying ceremony within the semicircular colonnade and at the bronze “Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves” sculpture. Players and staff were chosen to carry American and Michigan flags, a large blue flower arrangement with maize flowers forming a Block M was placed at the base of the sculpture, and the entire Michigan traveling party was given either an iris or a yellow rose to place at any of the memorial areas.

The national anthem was played, then taps and then there was a moment of silence.

Harbaugh offered some brief remarks that finished with “God Bless America.”

Running back Chris Evans, who was one of the flag bearers, said it was difficult not to grasp the moment.

“I was looking around and seeing everybody’s faces so you could really feel the emotions in the air,” Evans said.

More: Normandy visit ‘beyond profound’ for UM’s Harbaugh

Michigan football players carry a flower arrangement that was placed Sunday at the base of "Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves" sculpture at the American Cemetery in Normandy, France.