EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Remembering the 80th anniversary of D-Day

Jun 6, 2024, 9:42 PM | Updated: Jun 11, 2024, 9:02 am

A memorial statue located on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. June 6 marks the 80th anniversary of ...

A memorial statue located on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. June 6 marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day. (Canva)

(Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — Thursday, June 6 marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day, when Allied Troops stormed the beaches of France and changed the course of history.

Here’s Jeff Caplan’s full interview with Peter Roady. 👇

 

Peter Roady, assistant professor of history at the University of Utah and author of “The Contest Over National Security,” told KSL NewsRadio that it’s important for all generations to understand the significance of D-Day. 

“D-Day above all, reminds us that we can accomplish extraordinary things when we transcend our difference and join together in a cause greater than ourselves,” he said. 

“This 80th anniversary of D-day is especially important,” Roady added. “Soon the few surviving veterans will no longer be here to remind us of what our country can do for the world when we transcend our differences and go all in.”

How many allied soldiers were involved in D-Day? 

Storming the beaches of Normandy was a colossal undertaking, Roady said. 

There were over 130,000 men involved. Over 6,000 ships carried those men across the English Channel. 

Roady said the men on the ships expected a 90% casualty rate.

Two groups from Utah performing in Normandy, France for 80th anniversary of D-Day

“And still they went and they did it,” Roady said.

The mystery of Utah Beach… in France

One of the landing beaches was called Utah Beach.

Where did this name come from? 

Roady said the allied military planners gave each of the landing beaches a code word. One was Omaha, one was Utah. 

Historical record doesn’t give a clear answer as to how the beaches got their code names. But, Roady said, there’s a “tantalizing clue” in the diary of an army carpenter, who worked at General Omar Bradley’s headquarters. Bradley took part in planning the invasion of Normandy.

“[The carpenter] was renovating Bradley’s office to make room for more maps to plan the invasion,” Roady said. “General Bradley asked the carpenter where he and his fellow carpenter were from.” 

The answer? Omaha, Nebraska and Provo, Utah. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

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Remembering the 80th anniversary of D-Day