It was a solemn day Friday - the 70th anniversary of D-Day - as veterans gathered to remember the allied landing at Normandy. Thousands headed to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia to remember the turning point of World War II.
Seventy years ago soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy, France to combat the Nazi takeover. D-Day's military action was unprecedented - it was the largest amphibious assault in history, but it came with an extensive loss of life. More than 9,000 allied soldiers were killed or wounded on D-Day.
The turnout at the memorial Friday showed that those incredible acts of valor, fidelity and sacrifice have not been forgotten.
Veterans and service members from all generations gathered at the memorial to remember and honor those troops who survived along with those who did not make it back. The guests shared their stories their stories of heroism and horror on the battlefield.
Speeches from veterans, re-enactments of paratroopers and patriotic musical performances paid homage to the tremendous efforts made to stop the horror of World War II. Wreaths were placed as a symbol of respect. Flyovers provided moments for the crowd to reflect on the loss of life and heroism of the survivors.
Aside from all the dignitaries, politicians and spectators, the most important guests were the hundreds of D-Day veterans who made attended the milestone. About 200 D-Day veterans registered to attend the service. A reunion tent was open all day for those heroes to reunite at the memorial.
One D-Day veteran, Dewitt Wells, said, "This one here to me - it's fascinating. There's no way to describe this type of memorial. It's something that's just out of this world, even though it's in Virginia. It's out of this world."
The reason the National D-Day Memorial is located in Bedford is because that community suffered the highest per capita D-Day losses in the nation.
D-Day 70th Anniversary Ceremony Held in BedfordMore>>