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What is D-Day?

80th anniversary of D-Day remembrance ceremony

(WISH) — June 6, 1944, marked a historic moment in the annuls of time as Allied forces launched the monumental invasion of Normandy’s beaches during World War II. A day that became known as D-Day.

Troops from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other nations descended upon the shores of northern France in an effort to liberate the region from Nazi occupation.

France at the time was occupied by the armies of Nazi Germany, and the amphibious assault, which was codenamed Operation Overlord, landed some 156,000 Allied soldiers on the beaches of Normandy by the end of the day.

Despite the success of the operation, which ultimately saw Allied troops overpowering German defenses, the toll was immense. Some 4,000 Allied troops were killed by German soldiers defending the beaches.

Within days of the invasion, Allied forces secured significant ground. About 326,000 troops, more than 50,000 vehicles and some 100,000 tons of equipment had landed.

By August 1944, northern France had been liberated, marking a significant victory for the Allies.

Nearly 80 years later, nations around the world paused to commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of those who participated in the historic invasion. President Joe Biden, among 20 heads of state gathered in Normandy, paid tribute to the legacy of D-Day, and drew parallels between past and present challenges facing Western democracies.

“We know the dark forces that these heroes fought against 80 years ago. They never fade,” remarked President Biden during a speech at Omaha Beach, where US forces endured substantial losses during the D-Day invasion.

Biden highlighted the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, emphasizing the resilience of its people in the face of what he said was aggression. “Ukrainians are fighting with extraordinary courage, suffering great losses but never backing down,” Biden said.

Addressing the broader implications of the conflict, Biden underscored the importance of standing united against tyranny and aggression.

“The United States and NATO and a coalition of more than 50 countries (are) standing strong with Ukraine. We will not walk away,” Biden said in his remarks.