If you go
› What: “D-Day 3D: Normandy 1944”
› Where: Tennessee Aquarium Imax 3D Theater, 201 Chestnut St.
› When: 11 a.m. Thursday-Saturday, June 6-8
› Admission: $11.95 adult, $9.95 child
› For more information: www.tnaqua.org
On June 6, 1944, an enormous Allied naval and airborne armada put ashore and filled the skies along a 50-mile stretch of French coastline occupied by German forces.
Operation Overlord, also known as D-Day, represented the start of an effort to recapture German-occupied European territories. The scale of this campaign was massive, involving 160,000 troops, more than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft.
Although it resulted in the deaths of 9,000 Allied soldiers, the success of the D-Day invasion marked a turning point in World War II, the beginning of the long, slow march to Berlin and the cessation of fighting in the war's European Theater.
To mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater will present three special screenings of "D-Day 3D: Normandy 1944" starting Thursday, June 6, through Saturday, June 8.
Narrated by journalist and author Tom Brokaw, "D-Day 3D: Normandy 1944" pays tribute to those who gave their lives to safeguard democratic ideals and put an end to tyrannical fascism.
"What I was drawn to in this film is that it tells us the story of D-Day in a way that gives such clarity to one of the most important events in the history of mankind," Brokaw says.
"I originally thought this was going to be another traditional documentary featuring grainy black-and-white footage, but as soon as I saw the first minutes of this film on the giant screen in 3D, I found it irresistible."
"We wanted to make a film to pay tribute to the millions of men and women, soldiers and civilians, who gave their lives for our freedom," says writer-director Pascal Vuong. "Regardless of nationality, virtually everyone today has a parent, grandparent or even a great-grandparent with a connection to World War II."
As a result of their courageous actions during the invasion, 12 U.S. soldiers — including Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr., the eldest son of President Teddy Roosevelt — were awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest and most prestigious military decoration conferred on a member of the armed forces.
Honoring the bravery and sacrifices of approximately 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients is the mission of the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center. A portion of proceeds from the Aquarium's D-Day screenings, up to $5,000, will be donated to support the anticipated opening of the Heritage Center in downtown Chattanooga.
"We are honored to partner with the Tennessee Aquarium to share this important film, which marks the heroism and sacrifices of the thousands of United States military personnel who participated in the D-Day invasion," says Rear Adm. Noah Long.
"We specifically honor the 12 servicemen who were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions on that day. This film depicts the core values common to Medal of Honor recipients: patriotism, citizenship, courage, integrity, commitment and sacrifice. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Aquarium to share this incredible story."
The IMAX 3D Theater's lobby will host an exhibit of military equipment and memorabilia provided by the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, including a backpack used by Medal of Honor recipient Desmond Doss. A World War II Jeep, owned by the Coolidge family, will be on display outside the theater.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org/plan-your-visit/ticket-information.