National D-Day Memorial runs special campaign for Giving Tuesday

BEDFORD, Va. - As people across the country give back for Giving Tuesday, the National D-Day Memorial is running a special campaign to raise funds for a plaque to honor Marines' involvement in World War II.

"During World War II and at Normandy, there were Marines who were involved with that landing," said Daniel Villarial, a Marine veteran. 

Villarial has helped organize a campaign to add an emblem at the National D-Day Memorial dedicated to all Marines who served in the European theatre of World War II. He said he hopes it will help raise awareness of the contributions made by Marines.

"The Marines who were there taught the Army how to make their amphibious landings," Villarial said. 

"This narrative plaque will tell their story," said April Cheek-Messier, president of the National D-Day Memorial Foundation. 

The idea to add the plaque came about late last year, Cheek-Messier said. The goal is to raise $15,000 to dedicate the plaque next year, hopefully in time for Memorial Day, she added. 

"It's an often overlooked story," Cheek-Messier said. "Many people do not think or recognize that there were Marines who certainly involved in the Normandy landings and who served in the European theatre."

Villarial said he hopes to see fellow Marines contribute to the cause.

"During the time when I was in [the Marines], we would contribute 50 cents a pay day for the war memorial in Arlington, Virginia representing the flag raising at Iwo Jima," he said. "So if we did it back then in the late 40's, why can't us Marines do it now?"

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