The Fallen: 9000 Figures Hand-Drawn in the Sand for D-Day

Today is an anniversary of D-Day, the greatest landing operation of the Allies in the WW II. I don’t think I need to remind anyone what influence this had on the continuation of the War.

I want to mark this occasion, as always, with something of art. This particular installation’s taken place last year.


To commemorate those fallen on D-Day in France – civilians, Axis and Allies alike – a pair of sand artists used stencils and solicited volunteers to create a highly temporary art installation, destined and designed to be washed away by the incoming tide.

On September 21st, the pair and their helpers, given stencils and quick instructions, had to work quickly to make The Fallen a reality. At one point, it looked like they would not have even assistance to finish before the water came in to erase their creation.

Thankfully, hundreds of additional people turned out on top of the dozens who had agreed to help … together these, “people took stencils and rakes in hand and embarked on drawing the 9000.  The Peace Day project had finally begun in earnest represented by the people of the world.”

Jamie Wardley and Andy Moss developed the idea of The Fallen as a project for Peace Day well in advance. They created stencils in preparation, but were surprised by the people who turned up from around the world (drawn together, as it were) to commemorate those lost in World War II and otherwise.

Among those participants in attendance, “Monika Kershaw was there remembering her son and his colleagues that died in Afganastan and even wrote in their names beside them. George, a veteran who was on the D-Day beaches was also there and embraced the importance of the project as demonstrating the result of conflict. There were a group from Israel that drew together, people from Germany, Finland and as far as Chili.”

From Jamie in their their pre-project press release: “The Fallen is a sobering reminder of what happens when peace is not present. The idea is to create a visual representation of what is otherwise unimaginable – the thousands of human lives lost during the hours of the tide during the WWII Normandy landings on 6 June 1944. There will be no distinction between nationalities, they will be known only as ‘The Fallen’. It does not propose to be a celebration or condemnation, simply a statement of fact and tribute to life and its premature loss.” Andy added: “This project will bring together people from all nationalities, backgrounds and ages. Each individual will work in a team to make a person using a stencil and by raking the sand.”


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