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Leahy Attends D-Day Normandy Beach Ceremonies

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Courtesy Sen. Patrick Leahy
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Marcelle and Patrick Leahy stand with Vermont's state flag at the D-Day ceremony entrance at the U.S. cemetery in Normandy.

Sen. Patrick Leahy visited the beaches of Normandy today to honor the service members who participated in the D - Day invasion. Leahy, as the President of the U.S. Senate, headed up a special Congressional delegation to mark the 70th anniversary of an event that was a critical turning point in World War II.

"The reason I go every 10 years is just to say thank you to these people." - Sen. Patrick Leahy

Speaking from Paris, Leahy said his first trip to Normandy was 30 years ago to commemorate the 40th anniversary and he’s gone back every decade since then.

“The reason I go every 10 years is just to say thank you to these people,” said Leahy. “And also to be inspired by a time when everybody talks about 'he’s a hero he’s a hero', these are true heroes.”

Leahy says he’s always been impressed by the what he calls the “quiet bravery” of the D-Day soldiers.

“I’ve met people who received the medal of honor for D-Day I have never ever heard anybody brag about what they did. All of them what they did were things that are almost inconceivable in bravery.”

Leahy says the 70th anniversary ceremonies were very emotional because the number of surviving soldiers is dwindling and many might not still be alive five years from now.