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Remembering D-Day, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, 80 years later

Posted at 7:00 PM, Jun 06, 2024

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Thursday marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day. A day where thousands of Americans made the ultimate sacrifice, storming the beaches of Nazi-occupied France. All to protect our country and our freedoms.

  • A US Army veteran tells us what it meant to him to parachute into the D-Day 80th Anniversary Ceremony at Memorial Park.
  • We revisit a former Mission Service to remember about how significant of a role a Nebraskan played 80 years ago.
  • You can learn more about the Nebraska National Guard Museum by clicking here.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Today is the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

A day where thousands of Americans made the ultimate sacrifice – storming the beaches of Nazi-occupied France.

An act that is the definition of 'Mission Service.'

I'm Zach Williamson at Memorial Mark – where a ceremony was held early this morning to honor and remember those soldiers and military personnel.

Part of the ceremony included paratroopers landing in.

Which holds even more significance – considering the numbers of Americans who lost their lives parachuting in on D-day, and in the ensuing Battle of Normandy.

I asked one of those who made the jump today – what they were thinking about when coming in.

"It's a salute to my brothers, the paratroopers, and of course all the soldiers and military personnel who went into d-day and kept our country free," Paratrooper and US Army 27-year Veteran Kenneth Bader said.

Another event held Thursday evening to honor those American heroes taking place at the Nebraska National Guard Museum.

In 2022, I paid a visit to the museum in Seward to meet with veteran, and museum historian, Jerry Meyer.

Meyer educated me then about the impact Nebraskans had 80 years ago today — including one Nebraskan from Columbus named Andrew Higgins.

Higgins designed the amphibious boats that soldiers arrived to the beaches on.

"President Eisenhower said Andrew Higgins is the man who won the war for us," Meyer explained. "If he had not designed and built these boats here, we couldn't have gone open an open beach and the whole strategy of the war would've been different."

Under Secretary of State John Bass joined veterans, service members and guests to see an original amphibious Higgins boat there Thursday evening.

Lets be sure to all take some time this evening to remember the sacrifices made 80 years ago today – to protect us and our freedoms.

Reporting from Memorial Park – I'm Zach Williamson