A group of 25 House lawmakers and nine senators will join President Barack Obama at Friday's international memorial service in Normandy marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will attend the observance ceremony, along with 12 other House Democrats. Armed Services Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., will lead the House Republican contingent, while on the Senate side, eight Democrats — Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii and Republican Dean Heller of Nevada will attend.
The 34 members of Congress will join Obama and French President Francois Hollande for ceremonies at Omaha and Sword Beach, two of the five sectors in the Normandy landings.
“Seven decades later, we are still humbled and awed by the audacity, the bravery and the sacrifice of the Normandy landings,” said Pelosi said in a statement about the trip. “Neither our nation, nor any nation that cherishes the blessings of liberty fought for, bled for and died for on D-Day can ever forget its memory.”
One of the bloodiest and most significant battles in World War II, the Normandy landings marked the largest seaborne invasion in history. Allied Forces landed more than 155,000 troops on D-Day, with estimates of 10,000 Allied soldiers being killed on June 6, 1944, as a result of the invasion.
The congressional delegation will leave for Normandy late Thursday afternoon.