D-Day Anniversary Events Honor VeteransNORMANDY, France, June 6 (UPI) — Veterans all over the world gathered in Normandy Saturday for the 71st anniversary and memorial service honoring those who lost their lives during the largest sea-born invasion in history: Operation Overlord, better known as D-Day.
Around 150 British veterans gathered to commemorate the landings on June 6, 1944, which marked the beginning of an 80-day campaign to liberate the area from German forces. Over 250,000 people died.
Over 156,000 allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy. Most veterans have now aged into their 80s and 90s, having been in their late teens or early 20s on D-Day.
“For a lot of veterans who came, it was one of the key moments in their lives,” Bob Gamble of the Royal British Legion told the Guardian. “They come back and meet people who they often haven’t met since 71 years ago.”
Around 50 veterans, currently residing in the United States, also commemorated the invasion of Normandy in Bedford, VA at the National D-Day Memorial
“We know many more will come who did not call ahead,” April Cheek-Messier, D-Day Foundation President told WSET. “We think that’s a good number in terms of D-Day and WWII veterans given that their average age now is in their 90s.”