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D-Day 70 Year Anniversary

It's been 70 years since allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy in one of the turning points of World War Two. A memorial service in Springfield today (FRIDAY) told stories of the young men on the front lines. Hannah Meisel has more.

The young men of 1944 are old men now. But they still remember. Springfield resident Jim Hofstetter was 18 on D-Day, the day he enlisted. He knew it was the height of the war, but he also knew he had a job to do for his country.

"It was a fun time. We had some things that scared me, but in general...God, the government provided the airplane and the parachute and all we had to do was get out the door."

Hofstetter was stationed in Japan the next year when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. 

Veterans of the Second World War are becoming more rare all the time -- about 500 pass away daily.

Hannah covers state government and politics for NPR Illinois and Illinois Public Radio. She previously covered the statehouse for The Daily Line and Law360, and also worked a temporary stint at the political blog Capitol Fax in 2018.