Minnesotans and Americans today are commemorating the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in Normandy, France, a pivotal event that led to the defeat of Nazi Germany. Doug Thompson, curator of the Minnesota Military and Veterans Museum at Camp Ripley, highlighted that during World War II, 16 million Americans served in the military, nearly one in ten of the U.S. population at the time. 

“When families had service-members, typically they would put a Blue Star for each family member in their windows. So you would drive down these neighborhoods in World War Two and there were a lot of Blue Stars in windows, and occasionally… you’d see a Gold Star for a family that lost a loved one.” Thompson said. 

D-Day, the largest amphibious invasion in military history, marked the beginning of the end of World War II, with Allied casualties exceeding 10,000 on that day.