Honor Their Service: D-Day 75th Anniversary
Our country was built on people fighting for freedom and the freedom of generations to come. Every hour, every minute of every day, our service men and women are across the globe, putting their lives in danger for us. NewsCenter 1 would like to recognize those people and the people who advocate for them here at home.
In this week’s edition of “Honor Their Service,” we take a look back at June 6th, 1944 when the allied invasion of German-occupied Europe launched the military campaign that led to the end of the war in Europe, also remembered as “D-Day.”
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Today, we honor the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
Over 150,000 troops from the U-S, Britain, Canada, and other allied nations participated in the largest naval, air, and land invasion ever attempted.
Kevin Ott, the Division President for the Air Force Sergeants Association, has a special connection to this day. “It’s always been something in the History books, obviously, for me personally. I have a personal connection. My father was in the Army at the time. He was in the 29th infantry and landed on Omaha Beach on June the 6th, 1944. So I’ve always had a personal feeling about the day and in the end it always resonates deeply within me,” said Ott.
At least 4,400 allied troops were killed on the first day of the invasion and thousands more died as the allies advanced into Germany.
“The sacrifices that our airmen and soldiers and marines and sailors are making today are very similar to what happened in 1944 in that generation just at a different level, different perspective, different number. But our airmen today and soldiers and everybody else that has deployed around the world continue the legacy of what transpired in the 1940’s and in World War II and continue to serve the nation proudly as those men and women did then as well,” said Ott.
With there being few Veterans from D-Day still alive today, we want to know how to keep their stories and experiences alive for future generations. Ott says “everybody just needs to really understand the sacrifice made of those people that participated, whether they were air born troops landing the navy offshore bombardment, obviously the army and marines that hit the beaches. It was far and away a suicide mission for many. I think there was something around 400-thousand people involved in the invasion and just that number alone is staggering.”
So, today, we remember and honor the allied soldiers who fought on the beaches of Normandy back on June 6th, 1944.