American World War II veterans returned to the Normandy beaches 75 years on from the D-Day landings.

Mail Online | 6/6/1944 | Associated Press;Josh Saunders For Dailymail.com
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Second World War veterans from the US have returned to the Normandy D-Day beaches 75 years on to pay tribute to their fallen comrades who sacrificed their lives.

Gathering on Omaha Beach in France, the former-soldiers saluted the friends who died during the landings and war that stretched from 1939 to 1945.

Americans - Thousands - Miles - Today - June

Americans traveled thousands of miles to arrive today June 6 in time for the commemorations, as part of their promise to 'never forget' those who lost their lives.

Male and female veterans, many of whom are in their 90s now, traveled from all over the globe in what could be one of the last large-scale gatherings for such a landmark anniversary.

Ceremony - Veterans - Demons - Graves - Talk

In the touching ceremony, some veterans visited to 'face their demons before going to their graves', talk to fellow survivors and others looked to 'rub shoulders' with their servicemen.

The US National Memorial D-Day Foundation estimate that there were 2,499 American fatalities and 1,914 from other allied nations - previous estimates were as high as 10,000 in total.

Service - Men - Landings - Airplanes - Ships

More than 150,000 service men fought in the landings many under 20-years-old, 11,000 airplanes and 5,000 ships were deployed.

The soldiers had to struggle through 200 yards of beach, while carrying 80lb of equipment and dodge bullets flying through the air, in the hope of reaching their first protective natural feature.

Term - 'D-Day - Refers - Day - Invasion

The term 'D-Day' refers to the day designated for an invasion. Now 75-years to the day, some of the veterans share their memories and reasoning for returning.

For one, Jerry Deitch, 93, a survivor of Utah Beach - one of the five D-Day beaches invaded - he hoped to 'keep his nerves in check' having previously refused to return to Normandy.

'I

'I don't think I can handle it. I'll get too emotional,' he said.

Deitch from Nevada, was 18-years-old when he landed and said, 'after...
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