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June 6 Marks 80th Anniversary of D-Day Landing

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Official U.S. Coast Guard photo of American soldiers leaving an LCT to invade Omaha Beach on D-Day | Image by Everett Collection/Shutterstock

Allied forces launched the D-Day invasion on the Normandy beaches of Nazi-occupied France 80 years ago.

D-Day took place on June 6, 1944, and was the largest-ever naval, air, and land operation at the time, according to History.com. Roughly 160,000 Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, with ​​73,000 from the U.S.

More than 4,400 Allied troops died on D-Day, which included more than 2,500 Americans, according to the Associated Press. Another 5,000 were wounded.

Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL), chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said it is crucial to honor the sacrifices made at D-Day so the nation can learn from its history.

“We must continue to support efforts to educate and commemorate,” he told The Dallas Express. “Initiatives such as the Veterans History Project record the firsthand stories and testimonies of veterans so they can be studied by future generations.”

“This isn’t just about looking back; it’s about understanding how these events have shaped our present and will influence our future,” he continued. “It’s our responsibility to keep these stories alive, so the lessons learned and the values defended by those who served are never forgotten.”

D-Day marked the start of the Battle of Normandy between the Allies and the Nazis. The battle was initially delayed for 24 hours due to weather concerns. The Allies won the Battle of Normandy after 12 weeks and suffered 73,000 casualties.

“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months,” General Dwight Eisenhower had told his troops as they prepared to storm the beaches of Normandy. “The eyes of the world are upon you.”

Allied forces in boats made their landing at 6:30 a.m. with five targeted coded locations: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. Others attacked through parachute landings and climbing the cliffs used by Nazi gunners.

D-Day veteran Paul Marable, a native of Waco, Texas, said on the 70th anniversary of the battle that he could “still hear the gears in that turret [of his tank] turning.”

More than 22,000 Texans died in WWII, according to the Texas Historical Commission.

The Battleship Texas fought in Normandy and is set to be reopened for display in Galveston next year.

“Her final battle was time and rust,” Travis Davis, the vice president of ship operation, told KXAN. “Our goal is to roll back the clock, to roll back all the rust, all the deterioration and make the ship look and feel as she did in 1945.”

According to the Battleship Texas Foundation, the ship was first commissioned in 1914. It then fought with the Grand Fleet in WWI and earned five battle stars in WWII. Its record includes battles in Normandy, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

The National D-Day Memorial is located in Bedford, Virginia, a small town with the highest per capita D-Day loss. Twenty of the 44 soldiers from the town died in the D-Day battle.

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