D-Day: On This Day, June 6

Reading news of the invasion, Times Square, June 6, 1944, US Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information photo (Library of Congress)Seventy-two years ago today Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, opening a second front. The secrecy surrounding "Operation Overlord" is legendary. In a letter from the Gilder Lehrman Collection written on June 6, 1944, Morris "Moe" Weiner tells his wife, Sylvia: "It’s a little hard to sit down and calmly write a letter, just as though nothing were happening. Of course nothing has happened except the most world shaking event.  Although I’m hurting to talk about it, I can’t."

Journalist Bill Moyers took a group of D-Day veterans to revisit the beaches in 1989. He updated the story in 2002 and filmed the veterans speaking in classrooms about the experiences that were at once immediately visceral and distant. You can watch the full documentary on the pbs.org website.