Video courtesy U.S. Department of Defense
Thursday marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day operations in the Normandy region of France.
Oahu resident and Navy petty officer 3rd class Nicole Ramirez visited Normandy with her shipmates this week aboard the USS Roosevelt (DDG-80), an Arleigh-Burke class destroyer, to commemorate the D-Day invasion that helped liberate Europe from Nazi Germany.
Ramirez and her shipmates had just finished participating in a live-fire integrated air and missile defense exercise dubbed Formidable Shield 2019. They were about to head home Sunday when they were surprised with a trip to Normandy.
“I’m just lucky to be stationed on the ship that was chosen to partake in this event,” Ramirez said. “It’s an honor to be here to honor those who gave their lives on this day.”
USS Roosevelt’s sailors joined over 1,300 U.S. service members along with 950 European and Canadian troops for more than 70 commemoration events from June 1 to 9 in the region.
On June 6, 1944, nearly 160,000 Allied troops landed in Normandy for D-Day operations that changed the course of World War II. Of those 73,000 were American troops, while 83,000 troops were from Britain and Canada. They faced 50,000 German forces.
A total of 4,414 Allied troops died on D-Day, including 2,501 Americans. Over 5,000 were injured.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.