34 lawmakers to mark D-Day in Normandy

 

President Obama will lead a large U.S. delegation to Normandy, France, on Friday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Europe.

The president is scheduled to speak at the event, which will take place after 4:30 a.m. EST.

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Nine senators will make the transatlantic trip, led by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.), the lone Republican.

Other Democratic senators who will mark the event in person include Bob Casey (Pa.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.) and Mazie Hirono (Hawaii).

Twenty-five House members also will attend the international memorial service, with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in charge of 12 other Democrats and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) corralling the GOP side.

All 34 lawmakers will join Obama and French President François Hollande for ceremonies at Omaha and Sword beaches, two of the five sites in the massive military landing.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry will also be in attendance.

Other heads of state planning to attend the commemoration include Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Queen Elizabeth II.

The Allied military invasion eventually drove Nazi forces out of Western Europe and proved to be the turning point of World War II.