The Greatest Generation marches out to history.
In the wee hours of June 6, 1944, after brutal campaigns in the Pacific and North Africa, and after British, Canadian and American paratroopers parachuted behind Nazi lines, the largest amphibious assault in world history began on the now-quiet shores of Normandy, France.
Nearly 160,000 Allied troops landed on the heavily defended beaches, supported by 195,700 naval and merchant marine personnel. These brave men hit the beaches and ran straight into the maws of hell. They had to. They had a job to do, a war to win, and a way of life to fight for.
There were nearly 10,000 Allied casualties that day, an estimated third of which lost their lives. The fallen gave their lives to open the final push to liberate Europe and end the specter of Nazi imperialism.
Now, as we stand 65 years removed from that great and terrible day, please remember those brave men for just a few moments today. All of us owe those heroes our humble gratitude.