Commemorating D-Day Invasion 70 Years Later

It was nearly two years in the making and the result was a major turning point in the greatest war in human history.

The invasion of France on June 6th 1944 marked the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany.

Now, another generation of Omahans is preparing to revisit the beaches of Normandy.

D-day was one of the most historic events of modern times.

The faces of those who bled on the beaches of Normandy aren't much different from these faces today forming the next wave.

These Benson High JROTC cadets - 25 strong - will represent Nebraska in the 70th commemorative D-day parade in 2014.

"We have three three World War II veterans that the students are going to have the opportunity to talk with that were there at D-day at Normandy so they are going to have a chance to learn from them what it was actually like to be there," Benson High JROTC Instructor Mike DeBolt said.

"Just to be able to be there, see everything and learn a little bit more about what happened . It's a great honor,” Benson Sophomore Tre Lewis said.

"It is an awesome opportunity,” Junior Selena Gray said. “And I like that they are having the public join in with them and it's going to be a lot of fun."

“There was a lot of lives killed down in Normandy, especially on Omaha Beach,” Sophomore Katie Glessman said. " I think it will help a lot of people understand how history revolves around us."

But all major operations take money.

And these cadets got off on the right foot today with a March-a-thon to raise money for the trip. Seventy-five thousand dollars are needed.

It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will stay with these kids for the rest of their lives.

"I think that we'll get a real personal connection because we will see cemeteries and we'll hear about the lives that were taken and that hits a lot of people,” Glessman said. “People lost their lives to help their country, so it can hit home."

In addition to today's March-a-thon, the cadets plan to raise money with a pancake feed in April and a D-day memorial run in June.

Donations can be made through the Omaha School's Foundation Website at

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