KAMLOOPS — It was 73 years ago today (June 6) that Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, marking what is now known as D-Day.
World War II veteran, and Kamloops resident, Ernie Smith had an important role in the invasion: operating a landing craft that brought the troops to shore.
Even when his craft was hit, and he was injured, Smith had no chance to rest.
"They patched me up and gave me a sandwich, and a cup of coffee, and said, 'are you ready to go? We've got another landing craft right here for you.' So, I got another assault landing craft," Smith remembered.
Now in his 90s, Smith says the memories of that day feel more like a dream, but he recognizes D-Day as an event that contributed to the outcome of the Second World War.
"This landing was the biggest landing that was ever made in any war by anybody at any time. It was the major landing that had to be won. There was no turning back."
Marking the 73rd anniversary of the D-Day invasion
KAMLOOPS — 73 years ago today, Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, marking the beginning of what many believe was the turning point in defeating the Nazis in World War II.
The so-called 'D-Day' invasion was the largest seaborne invasion in history.
As time passes, few remain who were there for the D-Day invasion, and even fewer who remember the events or are willing to recall them.
Still, it was a defining moment in world history, and a day of heroism for the thousands who sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom.
WATCH: Archived stories produced by Kent Simmonds
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