PHOTO: A group of WWII veterans gathers at the National D-Day Memorial on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019.

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, more than 156,000 Allied soldiers invaded Normandy, France, marking the beginning of the Second World War.

According to April Cheek-Messier, president and chief executive officer of the National D-Day Memorial Foundation, it was “one of the most significant events of the 20th century.” The world was actually rescued by the men and women who fought in World War II on D-Day. They safeguarded the planet for future generations.

As people across the world remember Operation Overlord, the mission that altered history and freed Europe from Nazi Germany, America must also face another reality: the number of WWII veterans, particularly those who took part in D-Day, is decreasing.

According to experts, those WWII warriors who have already died away would want their tales to be shared, hence it’s important toBy doing so, we honour their legacies and save history.

PHOTO: The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia.

“We must inform and spread the stories we do know to people. They dedicated their entire lives to that,” John C. McManus, a military historian, author, and professor, said to ABC News, reiterating what he had said at a D-Day commemoration the year before: “The reality is, once that generation is gone, which it almost entirely is, it’s incumbent on historians to carry on that legacy.”

He called the Normandy landings “monumental,” and it’s difficult to think of anything more significant than sharing the experiences of WWII soldiers.

According to Cheek-Messier, the National D-Day Memorial Foundation was founded with the intention of honouring those who gave their lives on June 6, 1944, as well as the tens of thousands of others who perished in the weeks that followed.

Additionally, it let veterans know that “we know what you did, why your story is important, and why we need to pass it on,” according to the speaker. “We wanted to be certain that we honoured those veterans. They had not actually had their story conveyed.

The organisation not only cares after the more than 20-year-old memorial in Bedford, Virginia, but also does the challenging research necessary to validate the identities of those who lost their lives during D-Day.

According to Cheek-Messier, no list, database, or roster existed when the foundation was established. Currently, the foundation has the most comprehensive name-by-name list of Allies who perished on June 6, 1944.

The necrology database of the foundation shows that 4,415 males passed away on that day, including 2,502 Americans.

“Remembrance is important. Any permanent monument must include it, according to Cheek-Messier. The foundation of memory is education.

PHOTO: The necrology wall at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va.

Veterans, according to her, want their tales and recollections to be told to future generations: “Many of them returned home. Numerous of their buddies didn’t.

The organisation continues its research and educational efforts as it prepares for the 80th anniversary of D-Day the following year.

PHOTO: The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va.
“How are we as a country remembering right now? How are their tales being spread? stated Cheek-Messier.

She said that the organisation anticipates being able to add a few additional names to its wall at the Bedford monument in 2024 so that those people can also be remembered.

As the 80th anniversary draws closer, she noted, “we realise most are no longer with us.” “We are unable to hear these accounts directly. We must make sure we can share their tales. Not just those of us at the memorial, but all of us as citizens of this country.

PHOTO: The necrology wall at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va.

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