D-Day Anniversary Shows Hope For Freedom in Europe

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The 79th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in Normandy will be marked by special guests, PBS reports. General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be expected at the ceremony to commemorate the difficult amphibious assault against fortified Nazi defenders. American, British, Canadian, and small contingents of French and Polish troops landed on 5 separate beachheads, along with three airborne landing zones. After suffering thousands of casualties, particularly at the American beach codenamed “Omaha,” the allies were able to setup up artificial harbors and

Commemorations like these are often attended by heads of state from involved nations, including more recently Germany in a spirit of reconciliation, and Russia to recognize its huge sacrifice on the Eastern Front. Russia is not expected to attend, and echoes of World War II continue to impact and drive symbolic narratives in the current Russian-Ukraine war. French people from all over the country regularly make a pilgrimage to pay their respects to the fallen who sacrificed their lives for a free Europe.

Next year’s anniversary, the 80th, promises to be particularly important. It will be bittersweet: most if not all remaining WWII veterans will be reaching the age of 100, making future round anniversaries with them in attendance increasingly unlikely. The Greatest Generation’s contributions continue to be celebrated by their descendants and will be entering the halls of history along with the Founding generation, that of Civil War veterans, and those of other crucial conflicts that have defined American History.


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