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American Airlines starts D-Day 80th anniversary trip for WWII veterans heading to Normandy



American Airlines commemorated the 80th anniversary of D-Day by organizing a special trip for 70 World War II veterans to Normandy, France. The veterans were given a heartfelt send-off at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, with a parade and a dinner at the American Airlines headquarters in Forth Worth, Texas. Actor Gary Sinise and volunteers from the Gary Sinise Foundation also addressed the veterans before their flight to Paris. American Airlines COO David Seymour expressed the airline’s honor in being a part of this journey and highlighted the importance of preserving the veterans’ stories and legacies for future generations.

One of the veterans selected for the trip was Frank J. Perry Sr., who had served as an aerial gunner in Europe during the war and went on to work at Piedmont Airlines for nearly 40 years. Piedmont Airlines is a part of the heritage airlines that make up American Airlines today. The veterans will spend two days in Paris before heading to Normandy for commemorative events, including visits to historical sites, concerts, and special ceremonies honoring all those who served during World War II. The highlight of the trip will be a ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery on June 6, the anniversary of D-Day, which marked the largest seaborne invasion in history.

The itinerary for the veterans’ trip to Normandy includes visits to key historical sites associated with the D-Day invasion, as well as special ceremonies and concerts to honor their courage and sacrifices. The Normandy American Cemetery, the first American cemetery on European soil for World War II service members, will be a significant part of the veterans’ journey. Among the veterans onboard the chartered flight is 107-year-old former U.S. Merchant Marine Reynolds Tomter, adding a poignant touch to the commemoration of this historic event. American Airlines’ initiative to bring these heroes back to Normandy aims to show gratitude for their service and ensure that their stories are preserved for future generations to remember.

The 80th anniversary of D-Day is a significant milestone for honoring the bravery and sacrifice of the American forces who participated in the invasion of Normandy to liberate France during World War II. The veterans participating in the trip organized by American Airlines will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revisit the sites where they fought and commemorate the events that shaped history. The partnership between American Airlines, the Gary Sinise Foundation, and other volunteers and supporters highlights the importance of recognizing and preserving the legacies of these heroes. The trip to Normandy is a tribute to the resilience and heroism of the veterans, who continue to inspire generations with their stories of courage and sacrifice.

As the veterans embark on this memorable journey to Normandy, they will have the chance to reflect on their service and the impact of the D-Day invasion on world history. The commemorative events, including visits to historical sites and special ceremonies, will provide a fitting tribute to all those who served during World War II. American Airlines’ commitment to supporting and honoring these veterans underscores the airline’s dedication to recognizing the sacrifices made by the men and women who fought for freedom and democracy. The trip to Normandy represents a gesture of gratitude and remembrance for the veterans’ contributions to ensuring a better future for generations to come, keeping their extraordinary stories alive in the hearts and minds of those who follow in their footsteps.

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