CHICAGO (CBS) — The Pritzker Military Museum & Library is marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in Normandy with a new exhibit.
The exhibit “D-Day+75” tells the story of the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France on June 6, 1944.
“At the height of the battle, it’s reported that there were 20,000 shells and bullets flying,” said World War II Navy veteran Dr. Richard Rung, who spoke at a preview of the exhibit on Wednesday.
Rung, 94, shared some insight on his experience on D-Day, which is what the exhibit hopes to capture.
Not only does the exhibit offer a flashback to the events of D-Day, it also follows the preparation, execution, and aftermath of the largest seaborne invasion in history. It will showcase images, letters and maps from the battle.
Rung said, even as the world commemorates the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the memories of the massive beach landing in Normandy are still difficult for him to talk about. He was aboard a landing craft that brought an Allied tank ashore at Omaha Beach.
“I landed at 6:30 at Omaha, and immediately we were shot by German 88s and had to back off. Otherwise they would have blown us out of the water,” he said.
Army veteran Ray Wagner, who also landed at Omaha beach, said the new exhibit at the Pritzker Military Museum is not just a look into the battle, but also an opportunity to effectively remember those who took part in it.
Wagner said 75 years later, one thing still haunts him about D-Day.
“All the guys that didn’t make it, that’s what’ bothers me; that they didn’t make it. They’re the real heroes. They’re the guys that done everything, because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here,” he said.
The exhibit officially opens on Thursday. Admission is $5, but active members of the military, police officers, firefighters and children under 18 can get in free.