NORMANDY, FRANCE – A handful of Mainers were overseas Thursday to honor those who fought during the D-Day invasion at Normandy 75 years ago.
Two World War II veterans from Maine were in France for a commemoration ceremony Thursday morning.
Charles Norman Shay, a Penobscot Tribal Elder, earned a Silver Star for his work as a medic during the first wave of the attack on June 6, 1944.
Henry Breton, an Augusta resident, landed in the second wave of boats on D-Day.
Thursday, both met with Senator Susan Collins (R – Maine), who says this day is especially important to her because her father also fought in World War II.
“It is extraordinary to think of the courage and the bravery of these young men,” Sen. Collins said. “We owe them so much. They truly saved the world and preserved our freedoms.”
Senator Angus King (I – Maine) was also overseas talking with Maine veterans. He visited Omaha Beach, where thousands of Americans lost their lives during the fight to begin the liberation of Europe.
He echoed the words of General Joshua Chamberlain regarding that battlefield.
“In great deeds, something abides. On great fields, something stays. Forms may change and pass, and bodies disappear, but spirits linger to consecrate the ground as the vision place of souls,” said Sen. King.
According to a release from Sen. Collins’ office, there are 83 soldiers from Maine buried at the cemetery in Normandy, six of whom died on D-Day.