This weekend, the nation paused to remember thousands of brave Americans and American allies who stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, launching the campaign to liberate Europe from Nazi oppression in WWII.
The daring attack on Nazi strongholds in the north of occupied France remains the largest single-day amphibious assault ever recorded, with more than 160,000 American and allied troops storming the 50-mile stretch of beachhead.
More than 1,400 brave American troops lost their lives storming Omaha Beach, as Nazi machine gun positions peppered allied landing craft. In total, more than 2,500 Americans were killed in the first day of assaults on Nazi positions across the north of France.
Marking the 66th anniversary of D-Day, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen joined WWII veterans at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., for a special ceremony honoring the nation's D-Day veterans.
To view Pentagon Channel coverage of Mullen's comments and the D-Day ceremony from the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Click Here.
Bedford, Va., is the town which lost the most service members in the invasion of France. Nineteen "Bedford Boys" from A Company, 116th Infantry of the Virginia National Guard were killed in the assault.
In his remarks, Mullen connected the courage and valor of D-Day's veterans with the courage exemplified by American men and women fighting today on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan.
To read the Armed Forces Press Service coverage of the Bedford ceremony, Click Here.
On D-Day, AMVETS posts and department around the country also gathered to recognize the sacrifices of Americans who served on the Western Front in WWII--especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice on the beaches of Normandy.
Born out of WWII, AMVETS will continue to pay special tribute to the sacrifices of our nation's Greatest Generation. The men who fought at Normandy truly embody the best of what our nation's military has done to secure the freedoms we cherish today.
(Photos: Top: American troops observe Omaha Beach approaching the landing at Normandy on D-Day in 1944. U.S. Navy photo, released. Middle: Adm. Mike Mullen addresses the crowd gathered at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., on Sunday, June 6, 2010, reflecting on the 66th anniversary of D-Day. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad McNeeley, released.)