Cassidy among leaders marking D-Day anniversary in France

Published 12:34 pm Wednesday, June 5, 2024

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy will be spending his Thursday in Normandy, marking the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in France.

“On Thursday, D-Day, we’ll join French leaders and veterans who are all approaching 100, if they’re not 100, at the American cemetery Colleville-sur-Mer for a ceremony commemorating the invasion of Allied Forces during World War II.”

Cassidy, R-La., said after the ceremony he will have the chance to meet with World War II veterans and pay respect to the Normandy American Cemetery Memorial.

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“We all recognize D-Day as a pivotal moment in history and I am honored to be able to visit the very beach where so many Americans — so many people from Louisiana — gave their life in the pursuit of liberty and honor the sacrifices of the greatest generation.”

Cassidy said for those who cannot join him in Normandy, he encourages a trip to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.

“It originally started as the National D-Day Museum and has artifacts used by the Allied Forces when they landed on the beach,” he said. “This includes a plane — a pulled glider. When you walk in and you look up, hanging from the top is a plane that pulled gliders across the English Channel. It’s not a plane like those did, it is a plane that did.”

There’s also a reproduction of a Higgins Boat, which was instrumental in ushering troops across the English Channel on D-Day. The Higgins Boat was developed in New Orleans.

According to the museum, in the late 1930s, the U.S. military began developing small boats that could carry troops from ships to open beaches. Andrew Jackson Higgins of New Orleans, who had been manufacturing shallow-water work boats to support oil and gas exploration in the Louisiana bayous, adapted his Eureka Boat to meet the military’s specifications for a landing craft.

In both the Pacific and European Theaters of World War II, Higgins Boats allowed Allied armies to move ashore.

“If your child or grandchild wants to see what it’s like, the National WWII Museum is the best thing you can do.”