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A jacket, a coin, a letter − relics of Omaha Beach battle tell the story of D-Day 80 years later

By Frank A. Blazich Jr., Curator of Military History, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Between the villages of Vierville-sur-Mer and Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes in Normandy, France, is a 5-mile stretch of beach that was once called Côte d’Or, or “golden coast.”

Since June 6, 1944, however, this beach has borne a different name: Omaha.

Eighty years ago, on a day now known as D-Day, thousands of Allied soldiers crossed the choppy waters of the English Channel by air and sea to land on beaches and coastal areas of Normandy, France, to destroy the Nazi invaders and defeat Hitler’s regime.

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