Saturday marks the 71st anniversary of D-Day, the historic event in which Allied troops invaded Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.
The fight came to be known as the largest seaborne invasion in history, with more than 160,000 soldiers storming the French coast to take on the Nazi German fighters. About 9,000 Allied soldiers died in the conflict, but 71 years later D-Day is seen as the turning point in the Allied victory in World War II.
Many people wonder what the “D” in D-Day stands for, with some speculating that it means, “Decision Day,” “Doomsday” or even “Death Day.” However, it most likely really just means “Day,” like as a measurement of time.
U.S. infantrymen wade through the surf as they land at Normandy in the days following the Allies’ June 1944, D-Day invasion of occupied France. An allied ship loaded with supplies and reinforcements waits on the horizon. (Image source: Bert Brand / AP / Navy Times)
In September 2013, British artists Jamie Wardley and Andy Moss accompanied by numerous volunteers, took to the beaches of Normandy with rakes and stencils in hand to etch 9,000 silhouettes representing fallen people into the sand before the temporary work of art would be washed away by the tide.
Titled The Fallen 9000, the piece is meant as a stark visual reminder of the civilians, Germans and allied forces who died during the D-Day beach landings at Arromanches on June 6th, 1944 during WWII.
9,000 fallen soldier etched into the sand in Normandy in September 2013. (Image source: Colossal)
Volunteers working to create the beautiful temporary work of art. (Image source: Colossal)
This year, allied veterans and families of their fallen comrades gathered Saturday at the U.S. cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach to mark the 71st anniversary of the D-Day invasion that helped defeat the Nazis in World War II.
Visitors and cadets from Annapolis U.S. navy academy, Maryland, watch a bagpipe band parading at the Colleville American military cemetery, in Colleville sur Mer, western France, Saturday June 6, 2015, as part of the commemoration of the 71st anniversary of the D-Day landing. (Image source: SF Gate)
Even though not everyone can visit Normandy to pay respect to the fallen, we can still remember the influential Operation Overlord through pictures.
In this image provided by the U.S. Signal Corps, Supreme Commander Dwight Eisenhower visits paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division at the Royal Air Force base in Greenham Common, England, three hours before the men board their planes to participate in the first assault wave of the invasion of the continent of Europe, June 5, 1944. (Image source: AP / Navy Times)
Soldiers are approaching the beaches of Normandy, with their weapons covered in plastic to keep them dry. (Image source: People)
In this June 6, 1944, file picture, some of the first assault troops to hit the Normandy, France beachhead take cover behind enemy obstacles to fire on German forces as others follow the first tanks plunging through the water towards the German-held shore during World War II. (Image source: AP / Navy Times)
An aerial view on D-Day to convey the immense amount of soldiers deployed to fight the Nazi soldiers. (Image source: Boston)
An A-20 from the 416th Bomb Group making a bomb run on D-Day, 6 June 1944. (Image source: U.S. Army / Boston)
Wreckage Of A Republic P-47, Which Crashed During The D-Day Invasion, Lies On The Battle-Scarred Beach Of Normandy, France. 22 June 1944. (Image source: U.S. Air Force / Boston)
Photo taken on D+2, after relief forces reached the Rangers at Point du Hoc. The American flag had been spread out to stop fire of friendly tanks coming from inland. Some German prisoners are being moved in after capture by the relieving forces. 8 June 1944 (Image source: Regional Council of Basse-Normandie / U.S. National Archives / Boston)
American soldiers on Omaha Beach recover the dead after the D-Day invasion, June 1944. (Image source: U.S. National Archives / Boston)
French fishermen look at the bodies of soldiers killed during the D-Day landing in this Robert Capa photo. (Image source: Pamela Geller)