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On D-Day's Anniversary, Revisit WWII on Long Island

Visit, experience, talk, and relive Long Island's role in history to commemorate this important day in history.

Exactly 70 years ago, thousands of Allied soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy in one of the most important days in World War II.

D-Day marked one of the bloodiest battles and the biggest invasion of WWII. While it reclaimed the Nazi-occupied shores of France for the Allies and was a major step in winning the war, the huge land, air, and sea attack resulted in an enormous loss of life.

Normandy may be an ocean away, but memories of World War II still live on Long Island. Here are some of the best ways to experience the history of WWII nearby:

Hometown Heroes at American Airpower Museum

Near Farmingdale Airport, the museum features more aircraft critical to the Allies in World War II. One plane, the "Jacky's Revenge" Thunderbolt, was one of 9,000 manufactured on the same site were it sits today.

Cradle of Aviation Museum

Walk among Thunderbolts and Avengers, Hellcats and Wildcats at the Cradle of Aviation's World War II exhibit. All the planes hail from nearby factories in Bethpage and Farmingdale.

Grumman Memorial Park

Thousands of planes zoomed out of Long Island factories, none more respected than Grumman. Head out to Calverton's Grumman Memorial Park to see new and old innovations created in the factories and memorials to those who helped create them.

Amagansett and the Nazis

Did you know the Nazis tried to invade Long Island? On June 12, 1942, a submarine landed at Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett with German agents carrying out Operation Pastorius. Their mission was to attack major American sites, like Penn Station in New York and Newark, Hellgate Bridge in New York, and plants at Niagara Falls and Philadelphia, among others. Thankfully the mission failed and they were discovered by a Coastguardsmen named John C. Cullen.

"Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning"

Irving Berlin's famed song was written by the songwriter while stationed at Camp Upton in Yaphank. The song was used in 1943's "This Is The Army." Camp Upton closed after World War I ended but was reopened in 1940 as troops began mobilizing for World War II. The former campsite is now home to the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Speak with a Survivor

Listen to stories from Long Island's World War II vets like Gus Scutari. The 93-year-old Syosset man was a fire controlman in the Navy in World War II and survived a kamikaze attack while on the USS Haynesworth in 1945. Read more about Gus here.

How will you commemorate D-Day? What stories do you have from family members who fought in World War II or helped manufacture war materials here on Long Island? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
dan June 07, 2014 at 11:44 AM
The USS Quincy ca71 was the first ship to fire at Utah beach. The Nazi were firing close to the bow. The ships Commander " a brave vetran of WW1 " fired back without requesting permission. His instincts being" to preserve American lives . " who thinks like that anymore, in this generation? Our first thought is " how will this affect me""There is no greater man than one willing to lay down his life for his brother". That's what makes those men the Greatest Generation. Today, we are a generation of self. " journey to Normandy" moved us to tears last night at the sacrifice so many made for The world, not just US. It's sad that we are a " me generation" now. Thankful that we have an honorable history to reflect on and remember that we have a responsibility to our communities here and afar. God bless all out brave men and women . God bless the USA.
christie nicolle June 07, 2014 at 12:26 PM
Great post - learned much! p.s. Happy Pentacost Sunday*
Get Off My Lawn June 07, 2014 at 08:47 PM
The massive loss of life reminds me of a term most people have never heard of. "Democide" is death by government...To date, 290 million human beings have been slaughtered at the hands of government. As university research shows, over 260 million people have been mass murdered by government since 1900. Nearly every case of mass murder by government has been preceded by gun control (citizen disarmament). Obama, Feinstein, Schumer and others are putting America on a direct course for repeating this dark chapter of human history: Once guns are stripped from the hands of American citizens, mass murder often follows. But not to worry....History never repeats itself.
Bob West June 07, 2014 at 10:08 PM
@get off- this topic was about remembering our servicemen who fought that horrible day to preserve our freedom. By trying to hijack it and make it about your own personal agenda insults the memory of those men. If you want to complain about bankers or taxes or anything else, please start a new topic. Would you start a loud argument about politics at someone's wake? That in effect is what you've done here. You cheapen the sacrifice of the 10,000 Allied casualties from that single day. Don't bother writing back more political trolling- hopefully everyone will ignore you.

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