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D-Day landing in Normandy captured in grandmother’s diary

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France – A single sentence in the fading pages of Louise Hamel’s diary documents the first moments of the day that would become a turning point in World War II.

Tuesday, June 6, 1944.

Les Americans débarque en France,” read Hamel’s diary entry, seemingly written too quickly for proper accents and grammar.

The English translation: “The Americans are landing in France.”

The wife of a French farmer held prisoner by the Germans in Czechoslovakia, Hamel concisely recorded the moment when nearly 133,000 troops from the United States, Great Britain, Canada and other allies began to land in Normandy on D-Day to liberate Europe from the control of Nazi Germany. Nearly 4,500 would die in the intense fighting that followed, but their cross-channel invasion of Nazi-occupied France would slowly turn the tide of the war.

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