American Airlines will fly 70 World War II veterans to France for the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings on D-Day, June 6, 1944. A special charter flight will carry the veterans to Europe on May 31, in honor of their “service and sacrifice,” said an American statement.

David Seymour, American’s Chief Operating Officer – and a U.S. Army veteran, himself, said, “This special journey is not only an expression of our gratitude for these heroes and the sacrifices they made for our freedom, but we hope to help shine a light on their extraordinary stories and preserve their legacies for generations to come. We’re honored to play a part in helping this group of heroic veterans return to Normandy.”

Among those of the “Greatest Generation” making the trip will be U.S. Navy veteran Felix Maurizio, who operated one of the landing craft that hit the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. Among the troops he delivered onshore was his brother, Sal. Also aboard the charter flight will be Army Air Forces veteran Frank Perry, who manned a gun turret on bombers over Europe in 1945.

The contingent will spend two days in Paris before the journey to the Normandy coast for a sequence of commemorative events, including visits to historic sites and special ceremonies to honor “the courage and sacrifice of all who served during World War II,” according to the American statement. The final stop of the tour will be the Normandy American Cemetery, where more than 9,000 U.S. service members are interred.

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