World War II's D-Day to Be Commemorated This Weekend

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On Saturday afternoon, veterans will attend a National World War II Museum ceremony in New Orleans recognizing soldiers, sailors and airmen who made that invasion a turning point for Allied forces. However, organizers acknowledge few members of an already dwindling population are hardy enough to make the trip.

The Department of Veterans Affairs says about 2.6 million World War II veterans are still alive, but more than 300,000 are expected to die this year. California has the most with 555,974, Alaska the fewest with 5,903.

While their mobility may be declining, many have fresh memories of the events surrounding the June 6, 1944, invasion of France by American, British and Commonwealth troops — known to history as D-Day. The term was often used by the military to designate the start of invasions during the war. But the massive scale and historic importance of Normandy made D-Day a lasting symbol.

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