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"I never forgot that day" - Tallahassee neighbors remember and learn about D-Day

Posted at 6:28 PM, Jun 06, 2024
  • Neighbors came to the Challenger Learning Center Thursday to commemorate D-Day.
  • One neighbor says she remembers the day from when she was five years old.
  • Watch the video to hear why one parent brought his two sons to learn more about the history:


Honoring the brave soldiers who gave their lives 80 years ago in World War II.

Neighbors from across Tallahassee spent time remembering and learning the history of D-Day.

June 6, 1944 is a day Joy Rowan remembers.

"I will never forget that day, even though I was only five," Rowan said.

She said she was with her mother after spending time outside.

"The telephone rang, and when she did, it was bad news. It was D-Day and that's what that was about. Some of her family was killed in it," Rowan said.

Thursday marked 80 years since that day when U-S troops, along with the British Commonwealth and allies landed on the shores of Normandy, France to fight the Nazi invasion of Europe.

Director of the FSU Institute on World War II Kurt Piehler said it was a turning point for American history.

"It transformed our relationship with the world. We embraced internationalism after the war," Piehler said. "Modern America really springs out of the New Deal and WWII, and the generation that lived through both."

It's known to be the largest naval, air and land operation in history, with 132,000 troops on the ground, 18,000 paratroopers flying in and 7,000 naval vessels all on the coast of France.

People like Rowan came to the Challenger Learning Center Thursday for a free showing of documentary D-Day: Normandy 1944.

Marco Paredes brought his two sons, Xavier and Dominic out to the center as well.

"I grew up with my dad teaching me WWII history and I think it's important that I pass that along to my boys," Paredes said.

As a former teacher and avid patriot, Rowan said she loves to see so many young people learning about the pivotal moment.

"I wish everyone would come and see it because a lot of people don't know about it," Rowan said.

If you want to learn more about the lives lost during World War II, FSU's Institute on World War II and the Human Experience has biographies of 10 menwho received Purple Hearts for their ultimate sacrifice.