ABILENE, Kan. (AP) — Staff members at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene are gearing up for two days of activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing in France.
The events June 6-7 are an extension of a three-year exhibit at the complex to tell the story of World War II.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the supreme Allied commander of Europe in World War II who led the invasion in 1944 that would lead to Germany's surrender less than a year later. Eisenhower also served as the first military governor in post-war Germany.
Karl Weissenbach, director of the Eisenhower library, said Friday the events were meant to thank veterans for their service and to explain the significance of World War II to younger generations.
"I worry that the current generations don't have an understanding about World War II and the aftermath. It's amazing how few can answer simple questions about World War II," Weissenbach said. "They should be well-grounded in that period of time."
Events to mark D-Day include a panel discussion, a symphony concert, military re-enactors, static vehicle displays and a flyover by six C-47 transport planes similar to those used during the invasion to drop paratroopers over the French coast. The invasion involved nearly 133,000 American, British and Canadian soldiers landing on five beaches, backed by 7,000 ships and landing craft in the English Channel.