Today marks the 72nd anniversary of D-Day, the beginning of World War II’s Normandy beach invasion, when some 4,414 Allied troops gave their lives to gain a crucial foothold against the Germans. We could think of no better time to share these indelible images from that pivotal moment in history. If you come across a man or woman in uniform this weekend or anytime, please thank them for their service.
A platoon of soldiers are transported to Omaha Beach via landing vehicle. Their landing, part of an all-out Allied assault from air and sea, was the beginning of a sweep through Europe that would finally defeat Nazi Germany.
On D-Day, June 6, 1944, a landing craft just vacated by invasion troops points toward a fortified beach on the Normandy Coast. American soldiers wade to shore dodging heavy machine-gun fire.
Hundreds of American paratroopers drop into Normandy, France.
A Martin B-26 Marauder flies above the Normandy coastline on D-Day, June 6, 1944, following American and allied invasions of German battlements. Landing barges are sprawled along the beach below.
Military staff at LaGuardia Field in New York gather around a radio as President Franklin D. Roosevelt prays for the Allied invaders of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
An American flag marks a U.S. command post near Omaha Beach, where captured German soldiers were brought before being evacuated on waiting ships.
American soldiers wait in foxholes at Utah Beach on D-Day for the order to move inland against German fortifications.
Canadian troops wait in assault craft before allied armies, including Canadians, landed on the French Normandy coast to start the invasion of Hitler's Europe.
Members of an American landing party help others whose landing craft was sunk by enemy action off the coast of France. These survivors reached Utah Beach, near Cherbourg, by using a life raft. June 6, 1944.
American troops in landing craft go ashore on one of four beaches in Normandy, France on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
Soldiers disembark from Coast Guard landing craft at the shores of Normandy. Their arrival came after the main allied invasion and the subsequent Nazi retreat. Their job was to reinforce and relieve the troops that secured the beachhead and then push northward to Cherbourg.
Women line up to pray on D-Day in London.
General Dwight Eisenhower talks to his troops around the time of the D-Day invasion of France.
American assault troops of the 16th Infantry Regiment, injured while storming Omaha Beach during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, wait by the Chalk Cliffs for evacuation to a field hospital for further medical treatment. Colville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, June 6, 1944.
A medic bandages a soldier after the D-Day invasion.
Landing craft and a fleet of protection vessels approach the beach code-named Omaha on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Omaha Beach saw the roughest fighting and the most Allied losses of the four beaches assaulted that day.
American troops wade on one of four beaches in Normandy, France, on June 7, 1944, the day after D-Day.
A U.S. Navy communications command post, set up at Normandy shortly after the initial landing on D-Day.
Allied soldiers crawl on their stomachs past log fortifications on Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
General Omar Bradley and Admiral Kirk sit and talk as they go ashore on D-day, after the Normandy invasion.
On D. Day, American troops pass through the streets of Ste. Mere Eglise, keeping a lookout for German snipers. Photos: Corbis Images
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