WWII veterans flown to Normandy for D-Day anniversary
COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France - Nearly 30 World War II veterans were flown from the U.S. to Deauville-Normandy, France, to attend events commemorating the 78th anniversary of D-Day on June 2.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade said the trip was made possible by civilian benefactors.
Video from the military showed the veterans arriving in Europe and being greeted by multiple military personnel.
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"The flight, which touched down at Deauville Airport on Thursday, is the first time some of the veterans have returned to France since the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944," Delta Airlines said on Twitter.
"Delta is privileged to have played our part in bringing these brave veterans back to Northern France with members of their families for this special week of remembrance," said Bob Somers, Delta's S.V.P. of Global Sales in a news release. "We are very proud of our partnership with Best Defense Foundation. Their philosophy of taking care of those who took care of us is wholeheartedly shared by Delta and our employees."
On D-Day itself, more than 150,000 Allied troops landed on beaches code-named Omaha, Utah, Juno, Sword and Gold, carried by 7,000 boats. The Battle of Normandy hastened Germany’s defeat, which came less than a year later.
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Still, that single day cost the lives of 4,414 Allied troops, 2,501 of them Americans. More than 5,000 were injured. On the German side, several thousand were killed or wounded.
Normandy has more than 20 military cemeteries holding mostly Americans, Germans, French, British, Canadians and Polish troops who took part in the historic battle.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.