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D Day

Honor the sacrifices of WWII veterans on D Day

D Day is an event that most people have heard about, but many people are still uncertain of the specifics of the event and how the anniversary of D Day is observed. Honoring as it does the beginning of the end of World War II, D Day is an important celebration.

The History of D Day

D Day was a turning point in World War II, a day that signaled the end of the age of fascism for millions of people in occupied nations all over the world. On June 6, 1944, the Allied invasion of Normandy began with the Normandy landings, the largest single-day amphibious invasion ever undertaken. More than 130,000 troops were involved in the D Day invasion, along with over 195,000 naval and merchant navy personnel.

The Normandy landings occurred along a stretch of the Normandy coast, which was divided into five sectors: Gold, Juno, Omaha, Sword and Utah. There were subsidiary "attacks" also mounted by the Allied Forces under the code names Operation Taxable and Operation Glimmer, which were meant to distract the German army from the genuine landing areas.

After a day of heavy fighting, President Franklin Roosevelt spoke these thankful and triumphant words to announce to the American people the news of Europe's liberation: "Almighty God; Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity."

D Day Commemorations

D Day is recognized in many locations throughout the world. The anniversary of D Day in Normandy is noted with ceremonies at several of the towns near the landing beaches. Events are held each June 4th at the D Day museum in Arromanches, Basse-Normandie, France, as the town's broad crescent of sand was one of the D-Day landing beaches where the British troops dominated. Elsewhere in Normandy, there are ceremonies in various villages to commemorate their liberation from German dominance. While D Day is not observed as a national holiday in the United States as Veterans Day and Memorial Day are, many Americans choose to travel to Europe and attend D Day observances there.

In New Orleans, Louisiana, the National D Day Museum was dedicated in 2000, but was subsequently designated by Congress as the nation's official World War II Museum. Staff at the museum includes actual WWII veteran volunteers; the museum also showcases artifacts and interactive displays to convey the history of D Day and the other events of World War II.

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