75th Anniversary of D-Day

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75th Anniversary of D-Day

Mary Kate Machi, Staff Writer

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75 years ago, on June 6, 1944, a day that is now known as D-Day was burned into the world’s history, Now, 75 years later, that historic day is being remembered in many ways.

“D-Day was a turning point in the war that lead to the Allied powers winning and therefore preventing the spread of fascism,” said Zoe Peterke (‘20).

On June 6, 156,000 Allied soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy. By the end, there were 10,000 Allied casualties. Over the past 75 years, however, the majority of the remaining soldiers have passed away, with nearly 400 veterans passing away each day, some even just weeks before the historic celebration.

For example, Alexander Bryant, a D-Day veteran from Scotland, died on May 16 — just 21 days before the 75th anniversary. He joined the army at just 16, and was part of a landing craft that landed on Juno beach as part of the D-Day invasion at 18.

Recalling the invasion, he remembered, “I was scared. You’d be a liar if you said you weren’t. But it was exciting for a lad of that age.” He died at 93 years old, with five children, fourteen grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.

With many veterans passing away, it can seem like their memory is, too. However, students today are still learning about the historic effects that this battle has had.

We can remember it so clearly because World War II was a major event that shaped the countries into what they are today, and everyone is taught what happened through school, but also social media, movies, and articles,” said Peterke.

Now, more than ever, D-Day’s memory is being revived. Most of the D-Day celebrations and memorials will be occurring at Normandy. There, the memory of that day will be remembered with events such as the flying of an airplane used in D-Day for the first time in 75 years.

The old DC-3 was used to ferry paratroopers across the English channel, and its memory will be revived by Colorado pilot Brandon Jewett, who says he bought and planned to fly the plane to honor the memory of the men and women who built and flew it over 75 years ago.

“What about the men who spent hours designing these aircraft, and the women?  Don’t forget the women who spent hours building these aircraft because all the men were at war. I mean, it’s an incredible feat that’s beyond measure and to ignore it and let it be forgotten is a crime,” Jewett said.

Outside of Normandy, D-Day is still being remembered around the globe. At the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, visitors can remember D-Day with special exhibits and events on the days around June 6.

D-Day was such an influential and historic event in the world’s history that it’s no wonder it’s 75th anniversary is garnering such attention. Events and celebrations all around the world are helping the new generations remember this important day as the people who were alive to witness it won’t have forever to continue telling their stories.

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