JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – On June 6, 1944 the United States along with the other allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, France. It was the beginning of a battle that would eventually turn the tide of World War II against Nazi Germany. This year marks the 70th anniversary of that landmark action during which thousands of soldiers lost their lives in defense of freedom.
This morning Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said, “June 6, 1944 is a watershed date that carries great significance not only for our country, but also for freedom-loving peoples around the world. Seventy years ago this morning, thousands of young American soldiers rushed ashore on Omaha and Utah beaches in Normandy to begin the liberation of western Europe from Nazi tyranny. Their courage cannot be overstated, nor should it ever be forgotten.
“Last June, I had the honor of laying flowers at the Normandy American Cemetery in France at the memorial there, and at the grave of a young Missouri soldier, Pfc. Woodrow Fitzwater, who was killed in action shortly after D-Day. More than 9,000 Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of liberty rest there, including 232 young men from Missouri. The people of France remain deeply grateful for that sacrifice, and I join my fellow Missourians in honoring those veterans of World War II who are still with us, and the memory of those who have passed on.”