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Remembering D-Day: Honoring the fallen

Planes fly over Normandy Beach

Multiple C-130J Super Hercules aircraft assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, fly over Normandy Beach, France, June 6, 2021. On June 6, 1944, more than 156,000 American, British and Canadian troops stormed 50 miles of Normandy's defended beaches. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Edgar Grimaldo)

Airmen sit on edge of plane

U.S. Air Force Airmen sit on the back of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft while flying over Normandy, France, as part of a D-Day anniversary event June 6, 2021. The “D” in D-Day isn’t short for departure or decision. As early as World War I, the U.S. military used the term D-Day to designate the launch date of a mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Edgar Grimaldo)

Airman pilot looks out window

U.S. Air Force Maj. Morgan Thomas, 86th Operation Support Squadron flight commander, prepares a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 6, 2021, as part of a D-Day anniversary flyover event. By the end of D-Day, more than 150,000 troops had landed in Normandy. They pushed their way inland allowing more troops to land over the next several days. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Edgar Grimaldo)

Airmen talk about Normandy fly over

U.S. Air Force pilots perform a pre-flight D-Day anniversary flyover briefing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 6, 2021. The 1944 invasion, officially called "Operation Overlord," combined the forces of 156,115 U.S., British and Canadian troops; 6,939 ships and landing vessels; and 2,395 aircraft and 867 gliders that delivered Airborne troops. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Edgar Grimaldo)

Airmen attend briefing

U.S. Air Force pilots receive a pre-flight briefing for the D-Day flyover at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 6, 2021. To mark the 77th D-Day anniversary, six C-130J Super Hercules aircraft flew over Normandy Beach, France, in commemoration of the fallen soldiers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Edgar Grimaldo)

Planes fly over Normandy, France

Three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, fly over Normandy, France, June 6, 2021 to commemorate the fallen soldiers who died on the Beaches of Normandy. The “D” in D-Day isn’t short for departure or decision. As early as World War I, the U.S. military used the term D-Day to designate the launch date of a mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Edgar Grimaldo)

Airmen look out the back of a C-130J

Master Sgt. Cesar Valesco, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, observes the French countryside during a flyover of Normandy, France, June 6, 2021. The flyover commemorated the 77th anniversary of Operation Overlord and the successful invasion of German-occupied France in 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes)

Airmen look out the back of a C-130J

U.S. Air Force Airmen watch as several C-130J Super Hercules aircraft fly into formation in French airspace June 6, 2021. The 37th Airlift Squadron flew six C-130Js in formation above Normandy in commemoration of the 77th anniversary of D-Day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes)

Aircraft fly in formation above Normandy, France.

C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 37th Airlift Squadron fly in formation in French airspace June 6, 2021. The formation flight flew over several ceremonies to commemorate the 77th anniversary of D-Day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes)

Airmen look out the back of a C-130J
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U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, watch as a C-130J Super Hercules flies over the International Cemetery in Normandy, France, June 6, 2021. The cemetery was one of three locations selected for flyovers during the 77th anniversary of D-Day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes)

Airmen look out the back of a C-130J
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U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, watch as a C-130J Super Hercules flies over the International Cemetery in Normandy, France, June 6, 2021. The cemetery was one of three locations selected for flyovers during the 77th anniversary of D-Day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes)

Aircraft fly in formation above Normandy, France.
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C-130J Super Hercules aircraft assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, fly in formation in French airspace during the 77th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 2021. Six C-130s assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron conducted flyovers during several ceremonies commemorating the anniversary of D-Day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes)

Airmen look out the back of a C-130J
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U.S. Air Force Airmen gaze across the countryside from the ramp of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft on June 6, 2021. Airmen from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, took turns being harnessed in and viewing the countryside from the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes)

C-130J Super Hercules aircraft assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, fly over France in remembrance of D-Day June 6, 2021.
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C-130J Super Hercules aircraft assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, fly over France in remembrance of D-Day June 6, 2021. Approximately 4,000 soldiers from the Allied forces died fighting tyranny June 6, 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jared Lovett)

Staff Sgt. Solomon White, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, left, and Maj. Brogan Otoole, 86th Operations Support Squadron chief of tactics, right, close the back of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft ramp at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 6, 2021.
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Staff Sgt. Solomon White, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, left, and Maj. Brogan Otoole, 86th Operations Support Squadron chief of tactics, right, close the back of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft ramp at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 6, 2021. Six aircraft in total participated in a flyover commemorating the 77th anniversary of D-Day. The 37th AS is the legacy squadron of 37th Troop Carrier Squadron from the Royal Air Force Station in Cottesmore, England, which participated in the Allied invasion in 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jared Lovett)

C-130J Super Hercules aircraft assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, fly over France in remembrance of D-Day June 6, 2021.
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C-130J Super Hercules aircraft assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, fly over France in remembrance of D-Day June 6, 2021. D-Day is known to be the largest seaborne invasion in history. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jared Lovett)

Senior Airman Daniel Powers, 86th Maintenance Group aircraft structural maintainer, listens to a D-Day anniversary pre-flight brief at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 6, 2021.
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Senior Airman Daniel Powers, 86th Maintenance Group aircraft structural maintainer, listens to a D-Day anniversary pre-flight brief at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 6, 2021. Approximately 4,000 soldiers from the Allied forces died fighting tyranny June 6, 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jared Lovett)

U.S. Air Force Airmen, assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, look from the back of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft in French airspace on June 6, 2021.
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U.S. Air Force Airmen, assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, look from the back of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft in French airspace on June 6, 2021. Six C-130J Super Hercules Aircraft assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron participated in a flyover of Normandy in remembrance of D-Day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jared Lovett)

C-130J Super Hercules aircraft assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, fly over the beaches of Normandy June 6, 2021.
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C-130J Super Hercules aircraft assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, fly over the beaches of Normandy June 6, 2021. More than 150,000 soldiers from the Allied Forces stormed Normandy Beach and successfully changed the course of World War ll, June 6, 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jared Lovett)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --

Six C-130J Super Hercules aircraft assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, flew over the beaches of Normandy, France, June 6, 2021, during the 77th anniversary of D-Day.

In 1944, more than 150,000 soldiers from the Allied Forces stormed Normandy Beach in what is known as the largest seaborne invasion in history. Approximately 4,000 soldiers lost their lives, and the battle changed the course of World War ll. 

Among the valiant men who invaded the 50-mile stretch of beaches were soldiers from the 37th Troop Carrier Squadron from the Royal Air Force Station in Cottesmore, England. 

To pay tribute to the brave soldiers who fought on that unforgettable day, the 37th Airlift Squadron, legacy squadron of 37th TCS, conducts annual flyovers over Normandy Beach, France.

“Being able to honor all of the sacrifices that were made on D-Day and the fact that we’re able to pay tribute to that now gives me chills,” said Capt. Matthew Frizzell, 37th AS C-130J Super Hercules instructor pilot. “The ability to commemorate D-Day with our allied nation in France in this way is a dream for pilots and hopefully the generations that follow will continue to do that.” 

The 37th AS invited Airmen from the 86th Medical Support Squadron to participate in the flyovers as a way to thank them for their diligence in getting planes off the ground during the pandemic.

“If they didn’t go above and beyond their duty, missions would not have gone, cargo would not have been moved and passengers would not have been transported,” said Maj. Joseph Abrams, 37th AS flight surgeon. “So I wanted to say ‘Thanks’ and this was a way that we made that happen.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the 86th MSS ensured Airmen were tested and quarantined allowing Ramstein Air Base to continue its mission as the Global Gateway. 

“It’s very exciting, getting to see a part of history that definitely shaped the world,” said Senior Airman Brian Holloway, 86th MSS laboratory technician.

Because of the continued support of the 86th MSS, the 37th AS was able to continue this honorable tradition and remember the people who fought with courage, sacrificing their lives to put an end to tyranny. 

“If we don’t constantly do these things and remember the sacrifices that were made, and how we have grown on the shoulders of those giants, then we’re going to forget them and they should not be forgotten,” said Frizzell. “It was one of the greatest generations in our history, especially the United States, so we need to honor that every year, and never forget it.”