D-Day, 70 years later

The Allied invasion of France represents one of the turning points in World War II, and, ultimately, in the history of the world.

Today, it is appropriate to remember the invasion, forever known simply as D-Day, and those who were wounded or lost their lives in the fierce battle. On June 6, 1944, thousands of Allied troops stormed ashore at five beaches along the Normandy coast. Awaiting them were thousands of enemy forces, along with a massive fortification that included minefields, barbed wire, machine gun pits, concrete bunkers and artillery. It has been estimated that as many as 2,500 Allied soldiers lost their lives on D-Day, with thousands more wounded.

It is fitting that today we take time to remember that day 70 years ago. It was the beginning of the end of World War II. Between June 6 and June 11, 1944, 326,547 troops, 54,186 vehicles and 104,428 tons of supplies had landed on the beaches of Normandy as the Allied forces began their push across Europe.

We pause today to remember all who took part in D-Day and their families. Their sacrifices simply cannot be overstated, and must never be forgotten. We thank all veterans on this significant day in history. It is because of their courage and bravery that we, and others in the world, enjoy our freedoms today.