Local D-Day veteran remembers Normandy invasion - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local D-Day veteran remembers Normandy invasion

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) - Friday marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing in Normandy, France during WWII.

The invasion by allied troops was considered a turning point in the war for cracking Hitler's western front as soviet troops advanced in the east. Around 160,000 allied troops crossed the English Channel on the initial D-Day assault on June, 6, 1944.

At least 4,400 allied troops were killed the first day. Thousands more died in the three-month-long battle of Normandy that followed.

In Chattanooga Friday, D-Day vets and other WWII vets gathered for a viewing of an IMAX 3D movie about the invasion. Channel 3 caught up with Russell Pickett, a local D-Day veteran in Soddy Daisy.

"Landed at Omaha Beach, first wave in at 6:30 am. I was wounded there and carried back to England," he said. "Hell..... About the only way to describe it I guess. No way I could stand here and talk about it anyway."

For American warriors like Pickett, now 89, the emotional scars of war are etched deep in their souls.

"Be better I guess if I could forget it. Believe me I tried. It didn't work," he said.

Russell Pickett can't erase the memories of June 6, 1944.

But neither will history; always remembering the greatest generation for their epic sacrifice.
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