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Veterans Recall D-Day 64 Years After Battle

Today marks the 64th anniversary of D-Day, the famed day Allied Powers invaded Normandy during World War II.

The operation, which was chronicled in the TV miniseries Band of Brothers, has gone down in history as the largest single-day invasion of all time — more than 130,000 troops landed along a stretch of the Normandy coast on June 6,1944.

The American and British airborne divisions descended on the French coast, while the Allied infantry and armored divisions met them by water.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution interviewed Bob Powell, who is now 86 and flew a fighter during the operation. To hear what Powell says about the experience,

.

Powell is part of a group of veterans who have shared their stories with the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress. He recently said:

Most people in their lives hope to do something they believe was worthwhile . . . I am so proud to have lived at a time to have the privilege to do what I was able to do. . . . Imagine it: We put up a wall of airplanes from the treetop level to 30,000 feet. When we could see down through the clouds, it was unreal. I couldn't imagine the volume of men going in.

Visit the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress for hundreds of stories from WWII. PBS's D-Day American Experience web package also offers stories from soldiers, archival letters from the front, and more facts about the historic battle. Check it out if you're in the mood for some heroism.

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bluebird bluebird 8 years
My fiance is in the Army and went to Airborne school last summer, and watching the scene in Band of Brothers on D-Day when the soldiers jump out of the planes gives him visible chills. He said it was terrifying to be jumping in a non-combat zone, and couldn't even imagine what that was like.
penguins268 penguins268 8 years
I'm going their in a week with my French club (along with London and Paris) and we all watched Saving Private Ryan a few weeks ago.
KJerabek KJerabek 8 years
Band of Brothers = a must see. Arthur that is an amazing story!
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
It definitely changed me as well. Right after the movie my brother and I went to his house, his wife asked me how the movie was (she's really sensitive about what movies she sees). I said "it was g-g-g-g-g-g-good" and then I started crying all over again. So she gave me a shot of tequilia :rotfl:
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"I couldn't even talk about it after I saw it without crying" Me too!!! Both that movie and Schindler's List profoundly changed me as a person.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Jillness I totally agree...I've said it before and I'll say it again...I sobbed my way through Saving Private Ryan. I couldn't even talk about it after I saw it without crying. That opening sequence was terrifying and heartbreaking.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Wow, Arthur, that is amazing!
Angelica Angelica 8 years
Wow, thanks for sharing your stories!
stephley stephley 8 years
I once spent an afternoon interviewing a man who had taken part in three beach landings, in France and Italy. He showed me pictures, pointed out friends who didn't make it, but overall he was totally nonchalant about it - he felt it had to be done, so he did it that's all.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 8 years
that's so awesome Caterpillar Girl and Arthur! These people are TRUE hereos! :D
LibertySugar LibertySugar 8 years
Wow. Thanks for sharing such an amazing story Arthur. Good thing for all of us she survived. :)
Arthur Arthur 8 years
my mom, then a young girl in Amsterdam, was liberated by the advancing allied forces. As with almost all dutch citizens at that time under occupation by the germans, she was bordering on starvation and ravaged by tuberculosis. Her first realization that salvation had arrived was when American bombers passed overhead and dropped chocolate bars.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
That is great, Capterpillar Girl! Good idea! Has anyone seen Saving Private Ryan? The opening scene on the beach is one of the most terrifying things I have ever seen. What these men put themselves through is quite breathtaking.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I would love to be a part of chronicling veterans stories, I made my grandfathers friends who are still alive tell me stories about thier missions and about my papa, who 17 years ago had a stroke and couldnt talk anymore. I typed them all out so my kids will know thier stories, thier own history. what was given for freedom, what true patriotism is and dedication.
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