Although June 6, 1944 may not be, as then-President Franklin Roosevelt called the bombing of Pearl Harbor, “a date which will live in infamy,” it may have been the most important operation of World War II.

To recognize the upcoming 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion on the beaches of Normandy, the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead and the World War II Foundation are co-hosting a discussion on the event’s significance and how it still resonates today. It will take place May 22 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The center is hosting this discussion to honor the courage displayed on that day, which allowed Allied forces to liberate German-occupied France (and later Europe) from Nazi control, said Tim Gray, the foundation’s founder.

The 40-minute discussion will be followed by a Q&A segment. The program is free and open to the public. The discussion features Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Rick Atkinson, who will be interviewed by Gray, who is also a noted documentary filmmaker.

The evening will also include special recognition of the late Wright Bryan, a former Atlanta Journal editor who was the first newsperson to provide an eyewitness of the invasion when he worked as an NBC radio stringer.

“This event will be a very powerful evening paying tribute to the Greatest Generation and the heroic sacrifice displayed nearly 75 years ago on the beaches of Normandy, France,” center President and CEO Sheffield Hale said in a news release. “The Atlanta History Center is honored to host the event together with the World War II Foundation and salute some of the Georgians who landed in Normandy that day.”

Those attending the discussion are encouraged to write questions they may have about D-Day on index cards available upon entering the center. They will be given to Atkinson and Gray for the Q&A.

Gray said everyone across the globe should realize how important D-Day was in its history.

“I hope those attending will take from it that June 6, 1944 was a turning point in the history of the world,” he said. ‘”Many young men sacrificed so much to change the course of history in one 24-hour period and that needs to be recognized.”

Gray said he believes the generations that have followed the invasion need to recognize what was accomplished that day and the amount of planning needed, as well as how the actions of young men ended up saving the world.

Though the event is free, all attendees must RSVP online in advance to guarantee a seat. For more information or to RSVP, visit

Support Local Journalism

Now, more than ever, residents need trustworthy reporting—but good journalism isn’t free. Please support us by purchasing a digital subscription. Your subscription will allow you unlimited access to important local news stories. Our mission is to keep our community informed and we appreciate your support.


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.