WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will be among those gathered in Normandy, France on Friday to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion — a pivotal turning point in World War II.

“They say it’s a moving experience you’ll never forget,” said Manchin who is joining ten other U.S. Senators on the trip.

“When you think about all the brave Americans that were determined to stop the Nazis and fascism and just the reign of terror that was going down, knowing that they were going to be like ducks in a barrel, being shot at, I can’t even imagine.”

On June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops crossed the English Channel and landed along a 50-mile stretch of French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the heavily fortified beaches of Normandy with support from more than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation “a crusade in which we will accept nothing less than full victory.”

More than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded there.

“The count that I have is around 38 West Virginians that died on those beaches that day, Normandy, 70 years ago.  We had many more that served honorably (in World War II).  I’m going for all the veterans in West Virginia, everybody that served,” Manchin said.

“I’m honored to be there.”

The Allies did claim Normandy, opening up a second front in World War II and starting a march across Europe to defeat Adolf Hitler.

On Friday, thousands of WWII veterans, including hundreds from the United States, will attend the official commemoration of D-Day during a ceremony at Sword Beach — one of the main landing areas of the invasion.

The D-Day invasion, which was planned over more than a year, remains the largest seaborne military operation in history.

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  • mikeyd

    why would he even be there joe is always up for a free trip for him and his family on the taxpayers money ,maybe he will get obamas daughters a FREE MASTERS DEGREE, LIKE HE DONE FOR HIS DAUGHTER

  • Greg

    I hope our President told him to get his own ride with the other republicans that are going and then I hope his ride runs out of gas and he has to stay in France.

  • David Kennedy

    Mr. Manchin is traveling with the Obama's as they tour Normandy this weekend...
    I wonder if he is traveling on Air Force One...?

    I'm sure he's giving Obama an earful about all the homeless people and poor children who will be created when the coal business is destroyed.
    The West Virginia school cafeteria's will make good community Soup Kitchens in about 3 years...

    I wonder what wine is served on Air Force One...?

  • Bill

    I am sure hope that flip-flop Jobama has a good time on my dime.

  • DWL

    Is he travelling with the m0r0n? Maybe they'll hug and the m0r0n's hug of political death will impart.

  • Tom

    The Greatest Generation by FAR outshines any politician, ever.

  • dj

    With the sad state of the economy in WV, I certainly hope the good Senator paid his own way there!!!!! Enough already - of he and Obama spending taxpayer funds for all such trips! :(

  • Woodchuck

    Joe sure is a trailing man at our expense. Stay home, fix the roads and lower the price of gas. Do something for the citizens of WV!

  • The bookman

    The sad thing is the French are kind of cool to receiving Americans on this important 70th anniversary in spite of the many soldiers who fought to liberate their country, many paying the ultimate price. So good luck across the pond, Senator Manchin.

    • Pickle Barrel

      The French who live in the Normandy region are quite appreciative of what the Americans did 70 years ago. Sadly, the rest of France...not so much.

      • Tom

        To hell with France. The only war they ever won is their own civil war. And half of them lost that one.

  • jm

    While it is quite nice that our politicians want to commemorate the veterans...........maybe the money saved by not going could go to help our veterans............just sayin