Today is the 73rd anniversary of the allied invasion of Normandy in German-occupied France during World War II.
The term D-day is a military term referring to the first day an operation begins. Normandy’s D-day was supposed to be June 5; however, bad weather and heavy seas caused Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, to delay the operation a day to June 6.
Operation Neptune, the naval component of Operation Overlord, was and still is the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of northwestern Europe from Nazi control.
Some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on the 50-mile stretch of France’s heavily fortified beaches. More than 4,000 allied troops lost their lives during the invasion. Thousands more were wounded or missing.
The invasion included more than 5,000 ships and landing craft with troops and supplies from across the English Channel. Prior to the beach landing, more than 11,000 aircraft provided air cover and support for the invasion.
Today, located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach, the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is the final resting place for 9,387 American service members who lost their lives to free western Europe from Nazi Germany during World War II operations.