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Sharing veterans' stories is important 80 years after D-Day, as few WWII vets survive

World War II veterans pose at D-Day Conneaut Ohio
D-Day Ohio
World War II veterans attended D-Day Conneaut Ohio in 2023

Today is the 80th anniversary of D-Day. On June 6, 1944, the combined land, air, and sea forces of the Allied armies stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, in the largest seaborne invasion in military history and what historians have called one of the turning points of World War II.

Northeast Ohio hosts one of the largest reenactments of D-Day in the world, located in Conneaut off the shore of Lake Erie, through the organization D-Day Ohio.

On Thursday's "Sound of Ideas," we're going to dive into the history of the events of D-Day and World War II, talking to experts about the importance of preserving and re-telling veterans stories.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs statistics, fewer than 120,000 of the more than 16 million Americans who served in World War II are alive as of last year, or around 1%.

Also in this hour, we'll discuss how a team of explorers last month spent two days trekking through the jungles of Papua New Guinea searching for the wreckage of a World War II fighter plane.

The wreckage of the P-38 plane known as Marge was discovered in a ravine by the crew of the non-profit group Pacific Wrecks.

Historians have cited the importance of the discovery, and the significance of that specific fighter jet. Plus, there's an interesting Northeast Ohio connection to this story.

And to end the hour, we'll talk about the work that StoryCorps does preserving veterans stories.

-Kevin Meier, Museum Coordinator, D-Day Ohio World War II Museum
-Brian Jackson, D-Day Conneaut Attendee
-Stephen Langel, Health Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
-Lisa Nelson-Hayes, Chief Programs Officer, StoryCorps

Rachel is the supervising producer for Ideastream Public Media’s morning public affairs show, the “Sound of Ideas.”
Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.