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WWII Museum in New Orleans pays tribute to D-Day veterans on 80th anniversary of landing

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NEW ORLEANS — The National World War II Museum in New Orleans held a daylong commemoration Thursday on the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the greatest amphibious landing in history.

On June 6, 1944, more than 150,000 troops from Allied forces stormed the beaches at Normandy, France, opening an assault that turned the tide in World War II. The assault ended with about 20,000 casualties from both sides.

Special ceremonies took place around the country and in Europe. 

"I'm honored to be here among patriots and veterans, people who appreciate what we did," said Paul Minor, a Vietnam veteran visiting the New Orleans museum on Thursday. He attended an early morning remembrance ceremony for the fallen.

"I'm trying to keep from just breaking down right now," he said.

Minor's father was a veteran of World War II in the Pacific theater. 

"His job was to direct the fire. He personally was credited with having shot down 3 Japanese zeros," Minor said. "They sunk a submarine and rescued hundreds of downed flyers or men whose ships were sinking."

Minor's middle name is Stephen; he was named after his father's ship, the USS Stephen Potter.

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