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More than 60 World War II veterans from Dallas embarked on a trip to France to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day. The group, ranging in age from 90 to 107, were greeted by a crowd of grateful onlookers waving the Stars and Stripes as they boarded a charter American Airlines plane. The veterans will participate in a multi-day journey that includes a wreath-laying ceremony at Suresnes American Cemetery, visits to historic WWII sites, and a daily ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe to honor fallen French service members.

The journey will culminate on June 6, the 80th anniversary of D-Day, with ceremonies at Omaha and Utah Beaches, two of the Normandy landing sites for the Allied forces. American Airlines Chief Operating Officer and US Army veteran David Seymour expressed gratitude for being able to assist the heroic veterans in returning to Normandy. The trip aims to honor the sacrifices made by these veterans for freedom, as well as to shine a light on their extraordinary stories and preserve their legacies for future generations.

The group from Dallas includes six Medal of Honor recipients from wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam, along with two Rosie the Riveters representing women who worked in factories and shipyards during World War II. On June 6, 1944, almost 160,000 Allied troops, including 73,000 from the United States, landed at Normandy in a massive amphibious operation to break through heavily fortified German defenses and begin the liberation of Western Europe. A total of 4,414 Allied troops were killed on D-Day itself, with 2,501 of them being Americans, and more than 5,000 were wounded.

The Normandy American Cemetery is the final resting place for over 9,000 US service members who lost their lives during the D-Day operations. The veterans’ trip to France serves as a tribute to their bravery and sacrifices, as well as an opportunity to honor the fallen soldiers who fought for freedom and peace. The group of veterans, ranging in age from 90 to 107, will participate in various ceremonies and events throughout their journey to commemorate the historic events of D-Day and pay homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

The trip to France will allow the World War II veterans to revisit the places where they fought and reflect on the impact of their service. The participation of Medal of Honor recipients and Rosie the Riveters adds an extra layer of significance to the journey, showcasing the diversity of roles and contributions made during the war. As the veterans and their supporters come together to honor the past and remember the sacrifices made, they hope to inspire future generations to uphold the values of freedom and democracy that were defended on D-Day and throughout World War II.

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