Remembering World War II: D-Day, The Invasion of Normandy

Today marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the historic World War II invasion of Nazi-occupied France by Allied forces. On June 6, 1944, nearly 160,000 troops, including 73,000 Americans and 83,000 from Britain and Canada, landed on the beaches of Normandy in an operation that would change the course of the war.

The invasion, known for its scale and audacity, was a turning point in World War II, marking the beginning of the end for Adolf Hitler's reign over Western Europe. The operation involved more than 2 million Allied soldiers, sailors, pilots, medics, and others from a dozen countries.

The troops faced around 50,000 German forces and the heavily fortified Atlantic Wall, a series of defenses lining the coast. Despite the formidable resistance, the Allies managed to establish a foothold in France, which eventually led to the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control.

On D-Day itself, 2,501 American troops were killed and more than 5,000 were wounded. The subsequent Battle of Normandy resulted in the deaths of 73,000 Allied forces and left 153,000 wounded. The battle also claimed the lives of around 20,000 French civilians, mainly due to Allied bombings.

President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has proclaimed June 6, 2024, as a National Day of Remembrance of the 80th Anniversary of D-Day. He called upon all Americans to observe this day with programs, ceremonies, and activities that honor the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought and died on D-Day.

READ MORE ABOUT D-DAY from the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home click here

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