Fort Bragg soldiers to help commemorate 70th anniversary of D-Day
Posted May 28, 2014
Fort Bragg, N.C. — Several hundred soldiers and airmen from Fort Bragg next week will help commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when Allied forces invaded Normandy to free Europe from Nazi control during World War II.
About 50 paratroopers in C-130s were the first to depart Wednesday morning for France, where they will conduct flyovers as part of a weeklong celebration leading up to a June 6 re-enactment of the invasion of Normandy.
Approximately 156,000 Allied troops, including members from Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne divisions, landed along the French coastline.
More than 9,000 troops were killed or wounded, but more than 100,000 began the march across Europe to defeat Adolf Hitler and his regime.
Sgt. 1st Class Jason Manella, a paratrooper with the 351st Civil Affairs Command, was among those joining the 82nd and 101st for next week's celebrations.
"I think it's a great experience to go over there. I'm a big history buff, and World War II history is one of my favorite subjects," Manella said. "We're going to get to go over there and really walk in the footsteps of true heroes."