Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy 

By Paula Green 

       The Western Allied troops of America, Britain and Canada banded together as they landed in Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.  The Normandy Invasion, also called Operation Overlord or D-Day, ranks as the boldest and most successful large-scale invasion in military history.  With Hitler’s armies in control of most of mainland Europe, the Allied forces knew that a successful infiltration of the continent was central to winning the war.  

      Under the orders of U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the troops crossed the English Channel and began their military operation.  The sea invasion began at dawn as the soldierstormed five separate beaches – Gold, Juno, Sword, Utah and Omaha.  The maneuver encompassed 6,000 landing craft, ships and other vessels that carried 176,000 troops.  The aerial attack contained 822 aircraft filled with parachutists headed for drop zone in Normandy.  An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air coverages and support for the invasion. 

      The total Allied losses at Normandy are estimated to be at least 4,413 and total Allied deaths in the bloody battle, which dragged on until August, topped 226,000. Due in part to the massive influx of troops and equipment, D-Day marked a decisive turning point in the war. Less than a year later, on May 7, 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender.   

      To commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, a few local facilities are featuring honorary events.  D-Day: Normandy 1944 3D, 75th Anniversary Screening will be shown on June 1-6 at The Rangos Giant Cinema at the Carnegie Science Center.  The giant screen will immerse viewers into this pivotal chapter in American history in stunning detail. For info, visit 

        Another commemoration that will be held at The Giant Rangos Cinema is Voices from World War II – D-Day: Normandy 1944 3D.  The event will be held at 4 p.m., June 2, and features an introduction and panel discussion with WWII veterans.  It is presented in partnership with the Veterans Breakfast Club.  Visitors will hear from vets who lived through D-Day.  For info, visit 

         The Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum and The Pittsburgh Chapter of Pets for Vets at Animal Friends will feature a special honorarium.   The 75th Anniversary of D-day Commemoration Ceremony will be held 9:30 a.m., Thurs., June 6, at Soldiers & Sailors.  For more information, visit