74 Years After Allied D-Day Landings, Veterans and Families Honor the Fallen - NBC Chicago
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74 Years After Allied D-Day Landings, Veterans and Families Honor the Fallen

Thousands of U.S., British, Canadian and French troops launched a combined naval, air and land assault in Normandy on June 6, 1944

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    74 Years After Allied D-Day Landings, Veterans and Families Honor the Fallen
    AP Photo/David Vincent
    School children visit the Colleville American military cemetery, in Colleville sur Mer, western France, Wednesday, June 6, 2018, on the 74th anniversary of the D-Day landing. U.S. and other allied troops have joined veterans of the D-Day invasion and families of fallen soldiers to mark 74 years since the massive military operation that change the course of World War II.

    What to Know

    • Thousands of U.S., British, Canadian and French troops launched a combined naval, air and land assault in Normandy on June 6, 1944

    • Veterans, relatives and others paid respects to the fallen at the American military cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer on the 74th anniversary

    • This year's commemorations were relatively low-key, while bigger events are planned for the 75th anniversary next year

    Families of fallen soldiers and dwindling numbers of veterans of the D-Day invasion gathered on the Normandy shore Wednesday to mark 74 years since the massive military operation that helped change the course of World War II.

    Powerful gusts of wind blew through a heavy mist as relatives and others paid respects at the American military cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, above the sandy expanse known as Omaha Beach.

    Ceremonies have been held this week at memorial sites along the cliffs and sandy expanse where Allied forces landed in Nazi-occupied France.

    Thousands of U.S., British, Canadian and French troops launched a combined naval, air and land assault as dawn was breaking on June 6, 1944. The invasion weakened the Nazis' hold on Western Europe after they suffered a punishing defeat in Stalingrad in the east.

    South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images

    American tourists and Dutch military history enthusiasts were among those visiting the memorial sites Wednesday, mingling with families of victims of the Battle of Normandy buried in cemeteries sprinkled around the region.

    This year's commemorations were relatively low-key, while bigger events are planned for the 75th anniversary next year.