Washington, D.C., celebrates the Eightieth anniversary of D-Day (includes video story)

June 6, 2024, marked the 80th anniversary of D-Day, and in the nation’s capital, veterans, representatives from allied nations, and guests gathered at the National World War II Memorial to commemorate the occasion.

The day began promptly at 5:00 a.m. with the reading of the names of the nearly 9,000 Americans memorialized at the Normandy American Cemetery in France. Those soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines gave their lives during Operation Overlord, which took place between June 6 and August 30, 1944, when the allies stormed the beach in the beginning of an assault that would topple Adolph Hitler and his cronies from leadership of Nazi Germany.

At 10 a.m., the ceremony began. Speakers included the resident historian of the National World War II Memorial and Alex Kershaw, the great-grandson of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Elliot “Toby” Roosevelt III. Two WWII veterans were in attendance: Frank Cohn, a retired Army colonel, and James Baron, a WWII veteran who arrived at Juno Beach on D-Day.

“We were waiting to land with the Canadian troops at Juno beach and there were some planes. One was shot down. All the ships started firing crazy,” said Baron. “We ended up with six wounded that day there.”

The ceremony concluded with representatives of the allied nations placing wreaths in front of the Wall of Stars. This wall has 4,048 gold stars that represent Americans who gave their lives in service during World War II. Each star represents approximately 100 service members.

President Biden, along with several other world leaders, also commemorated this historic occasion.

Laura Palfrey is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in digital communication and media. After graduation, Laura hopes to pursue a television career as an NBC producer. She also enjoys photography, traveling, and watching movies.