|70th Anniversary of D-Day|
The 71st Anniversary of D-Day is fast approaching with only four more days left to prepare! Will you be amongst the thousands to join us for a truly humbling and honoring ceremony commemorating the 4,413 brave Allied soldiers, sailors, and airmen who gave their lives in sacrifice for the greater good?
It is hard to believe it has already been a year since the festivities of the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. Last year’s events saw the largest gathering of D-Day veterans in the country and record high numbers for visitation, totaling over 11,000 people. Over 300 D-Day Veterans from across the country made the journey to our site for the commemoration of their heroic actions. The day began with a tribute to the paratroopers who went in before dawn on D-Day with the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team descending over the site, landing in front of two D-Day veteran paratroopers.
|C-47 fly over, 70th Anniversary of D-Day|
The ceremony continued with heart-wrenching and truly inspiring oral histories of that fateful day, read by various speakers, with Veteran Bob Sales providing the keynote speech for the ceremony. Mr. Sales landed on Omaha Beach, with the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division. After the inspirational speeches, numerous wreaths were laid in front of the Invasion Tableau in tribute to those units who sacrificed so much. The ceremony speeches concluded with a C-47 fly over, signifying the importance of such a powerful piece of machinery that helped shape the progress of the Allied Forces in World War II.
After the ceremony, guests and veterans enjoyed the Veterans Reunion tent and sounds of the '40s with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Veterans and their families were able to connect with old friends and get to know new acquaintances throughout the afternoon.
To end the day, the National D-Day Memorial hosted a special viewing of Casablanca in the Grey Plaza. The evening was a perfect end to a meaningful day. But the events of the 70th Anniversary were far from over. The next day, the Town of Bedford enjoyed a special victory parade in honor of our Veterans of D-Day and World War II. And the weekend concluded with a Chapel service on Sunday, June 8th.
It is important for us to always remember the past sacrifices of our countrymen and women so that we cherish the freedoms they have provided. It is imperative that we continue to honor those who sacrificed before us and to continue their legacy.
Join us for this Saturday’s commemorative ceremony for the 71st Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, 11 AM at the National D-Day Memorial!
|Bob Sales, World War II|
“I tell you my story because it is in our hands, as veterans and as citizens, to preserve the legacy of those who were there. Long after the last of us has rejoined their ranks, we have to make sure that there might never come a day when June 6th means no more than any other day. That there might never be a generation of Americans for whom the name Normandy means nothing at all. Time has…thinned our ranks… since June 6th, but on this day of all days, we are always together – in spirit if not in body.” – D-Day Veteran Bob Sales. Bob has rejoined his brother’s in arms, passing away this past February 2015.