WASHINGTON -- World War II veterans in Maryland who are heading to Normandy, France, in June to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion may apply for special identification badges for U.S.-sponsored events, the Pentagon announced this week.
The badges, which will be available free of charge beginning next month, will give veterans priority for available space at ceremonies scheduled to be held in Normandy June 5 and 6. While they will also help veterans and their families get through security, the badges will not serve as tickets or reservations for the events, according to the announcement.
Current plans for D-Day activities include a June 5 airborne ceremony at St. Mere Eglise and June 6 commemorations at Pont du Hoc, Utah Beach and Omaha Beach. The U.S. national ceremony will take place June 6 at Collenville Sur Mer.
The Pentagon's World War II Commemoration Committee will issue badges to all U.S. military veterans who provide the following information with their application: their rank when D-Day occurred, unit or ship designation, passport numbers of family members traveling with them, tour group or sponsoring association, Normandy events they plan to attend, World War II discharge papers or a statement why the document is not available. Families of veterans who have died, including grandchildren and siblings, may also apply for identification badges.
Applications may be obtained by writing the World War II Commemoration Committee, ATTN: Veteran Identification Program, 5001 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria, Va. 22333. For information, contact Lt. Col. Alfred D. Lott or Staff Sgt. Jeff Fry at the committee office, (703) 692-2096 or (703) 692-2111.