Remembering Normandy, 70 Years Later

From a local eastern North Carolina high school, to the Queen city and beyond international borders, the world remembers the historic invasion which defeated Hitler's regime.

It was 70 years ago today when U.S. and allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy on D-day.

The military surge was the first time an invading army had crossed the English Channel in more than 250 years.

With more than 5,000 ships and more than 150,000 troops landing on the fortified coast of France's Normandy region, June 6th became the turning point of World War II.

On today's anniversary, one of those veterans will share his story with local high school students.

Berell Robinson of Deep Run will give the high schoolers at South Lenoir an autobiographical history lesson at 9:30 Friday morning. Robinson was one of the military members who drove landing rafts onto the shores of France.

Also on this 70th anniversary, WWII veteran and concentration camp victim, 93-year-old Henry Hirschmann of Charlotte will make the trip back to northern France.

A native of Germany and of Jewish decent, Hirschmann was imprisoned in a concentration camp. An uncle living in the U.S. was able to get him out, and the man made his trip to America. Once Hirschmann arrived in the states, he enlisted in the Army. Days later, he too was on the beaches of Normandy for the historic invasion.

At Fort Bragg, nearly 300 paratroopers will make a jump in honor of those from the base's 82nd Airborne Division. Reports say those military members were among the first to fight in Normandy, France.

On this 70th anniversary of D-Day, more than 10,000 visitors are expected at the National D-Day Memorial in Virginia. A ceremony will be held Friday morning for guests from as far as France, Ireland, and England,

President Barack Obama is in France for the anniversary, concluding a European tour. The President was accompanied by France's president, Francois Hollande, to the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer.

Queen Elizabeth II is also expected at the gathering of national world leaders as the only living world leader to have contributed to the WWII efforts.


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