The Friends of the National World War II Memorial hosted a ceremony and wreath laying June 6 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Operation Overlord at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The public was invited to pay tribute to those who stormed the beaches and parachuted from the skies in the invasion that turned the tide in the Allied fight against the Nazi regime in Europe.
As the world remembered the 75th anniversary of D-Day, nearly 40 World War II veterans were present at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the anniversary of the day 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of beach in Normandy, France. The invasion, while a turning point in the war against Hitler and the Nazi regime, came at a high price. More than 4,400 Allied troops lost their lives — 2,800 of them Americans. Another 13,500 American servicemembers were wounded.
“They were young men, many of them just 18, 19, 20 years old who answered the call to take up arms and shouldered an awesome responsibility beyond their years,” said Jeffrey Reinhold, acting superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks.
“Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for 75 years of peace in Europe,” said Alex Kershaw, author of “The Bedford Boys” and “The First Wave," and the master of ceremonies for the event.
Friends of the National World War II Memorial is a nonprofit dedicated to honoring and preserving the national memory of World War II and to creating the next “Greatest Generation” of tomorrow.