June 6, 1944
Sixty-five years ago, on this day, allied forces - American,
British, and Canadian - began one of the largest operations of World
War II. At the time, much of Europe was in the hands of Nazi
Early on that Sunday morning, 156,000 troops set out in 5,000 ships
and boats. They left from England and landed at Normandy. This battle
turned the tide of the war in Europe. The Germans surrendered in May,
Each year, veterans have returned to Normandy to meet old friends,
and remember the friends they left on the beach that cold Sunday
Recalling D-Day, 65 years later: 'I don't know how
Fred DiCicco, of Pembroke Pines, Florida, is 85. He remembers that
morning back in 1944, remembers the friends who died there, the friends
who got Purple Hearts.
Ben Packer is 87. He flew air support over the beaches.
Both men came back to civilian life after the war. DiCicco ran a
gas station in New Jersey for 25 years; Packer was a New York
policeman, then a corporate pilot for IBM.
D-day in Normandy
Louis Delevin, now 77, was mayor of Cricqueville-en-Bessin, a small
village in Normandy, near Le Havre. The first thing he did when elected
in 1989 was to build a monument to the US soldiers who served there.
The people of Cricqueville have never forgottten those days.
"If they hadn't come, where would we be today?", he asked.
The church in Cricqueville has a marble plaque that reads
"Christian, do not forget the American soldiers who risked and
sacrificed their lives for you along this coast on June 6, 1944".
Jean Castel, 77, is a historian of the war, and a former pilot. He
said, "People here never forget the Americans. For us, they were the