Washington, DC- Ahead of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) will travel to Normandy as part of the U.S. delegation to commemorate the brave service of U.S. troops during World War II. According to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, over 1,170,000 Pennsylvanians were serving or had served in the wartime armed forces by 1945, and according to the National Archives, over 15,000 Pennsylvanians were killed during WWII. Senator Casey also called on Congress to pass legislation to honor the bravery and sacrifice of our veterans.
“I am proud to represent my fellow Pennsylvanians and all Americans in honoring the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion,” said Senator Casey. “Pennsylvanians contributed significantly to the World War II effort with nearly 1.2 million from the Commonwealth serving in June of 1945. The anniversary of D-Day is a poignant reminder of the tremendous sacrifices our service members make. It is our solemn duty to honor their valor.”
In June 1945, nearly 1.2 million Pennsylvanians were serving or had served in our wartime armed forces. This is second only to New York. The so-called “Arsenal of America,” Pennsylvania’s steel mills supported the massive defense industry required to support Allied troops overseas.
Notably, General George C. Marshall – the chief of staff of the Army during D-Day and one of the architects of the Allied invasion of Europe – was a native of Uniontown, PA. Marshall went on to serve as Secretary of Defense and then State and spearheaded the Marshall Plan. Vice Admiral Alan G. Kirk of Philadelphia led the amphibious forces in the D-Day landings in Sicily, Italy, and Normandy.
At least one PA veteran, Mr. Leslie Palmer Cruise, Jr. from Horsham, PA, will also be in Normandy this week to honor his fallen comrades. Cruise was a Private First Class in the 82nd Airborne during D-Day; he parachuted into France as part of the airborne assault.
Senator Casey has co-sponsored comprehensive legislation that addresses major issues that our Nation’s veterans’ are dealing with on a daily basis including education, employment and benefits claims. These bills work to improve the lives of our Nation’s service members, veterans, their families, and survivors in all these areas. It will also address the current issues at the VA including the ability to remove incompetent senior executives, updating the VA’s scheduling system and providing additional funding to hire more medical professionals.