McConnell, Yarmuth greet Ky. WWII veterans in nation's capital

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by Chelsea Rabideau

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 6, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 6 at 10:16 PM

WASHINGTON D.C. (WHAS11) -- Wednesday marks the 68th Anniversary of the D-Day attacks, when Allied Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy. It was a turning point in World War II. Local veterans got the chance to visit the nation’s capitol on the Honor Flight.

It was a warm welcome for the Kentucky veterans at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. A group of 30 men left Louisville early Wednesday morning on the Honor Flight, a journey sponsored by Ford to show appreciation for the sacrifices made so many years ago. John Vaughn, a WWII vet from Glasgow, Kentucky said, “You remember a lot of people that didn't’t make it.”

Sixty-eight years ago, 160,000 allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France. The cost of D-Day was high, more than 9,000 soldiers were killed or wounded. But, it also marked a massive turning point in the war; the beginning of the defeat of Nazi Germany.

The arrival of the veterans brought Kentucky lawmakers out to the memorial.

Congressman John Yarmuth said, “This is a great program. It recalls for all of us the sacrifices that so many Americans have made and continue to make.”

Senator Mitch McConnell also stopped by to say, “It brings back a lot of memories of my own dad and it’s wonderful to see these guys. All of them, of course, had not been to this memorial before.”

The veterans were treated to performances and given letters of appreciation from Ford employees and family members. “I think it’s a good deal,” said John Vaughn, “I think it’s a good thing.”

Mixed in with the memories of loss and sacrifice, there was a sense of pride as these veterans took the World War II memorial, for many of them, for the first time.

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