Historian reflects on D-Day’s significance 79 years later

The sacrifices made in “Operation Overlord” changed the war and the world
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 7:32 PM EDT
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PRINCETON, W.Va. (WVVA) -Today marks the anniversary of D-Day, the day when allied forces fought the Nazis on the Normandy beaches 79 years ago during World War II. Officially named “Operation Overlord,” the invasion took place over air and sea. We spoke to Terry Morgan, a historian at the “Those Who Served” War Museum in Princeton, West Virginia, to get a better understanding of the events that took place that day. He describes the situation as “going into the jaws of death” as soldiers on the beach faced high waters and heavy artillery fire that prevented many from even reaching dry land. He says, despite the heavy losses of thousands of Allied soldiers, it was a necessary part of stopping the war in Europe.

“It was the actual turning point of the war. If we had have lost... at Normandy. On June 6th, 1944, the war would have went on and a lot of men, a lot of men.... the war could have extended on and on. But that had to happen, that had to happen,” says Morgan.

The “Those Who Served” War Museum in Princeton holds many historical artifacts from World War II on display as well as information about the Mercer County locals who fought in that war. If you would like to see these artifacts for yourself, the museum is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.