Wednesday marked the 68th anniversary of D-Day, and hundreds of people turned up at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans to mark the occasion. The crowd included historians, veterans and family members who celebrated the sacrifice of the thousands of soldiers who helped turn the tide in World War II, The Associated Press reports.

The focus of the event was a group of 24 men who took part in the groundbreaking offensive. Among them was New Orleans resident Tom Blakey, 91, who took part in D-Day as a member of 82nd Airborne Division. He parachuted onto the beaches of Normandy, France, just ahead of the amphibious assault. Nearly 70 years later, he still remembers the day vividly.

"I landed in a cemetery," Blakey told the AP. "I had no idea where I was, but I knew I had to get to a bridge. Our mission was to get to the bridges and villages to keep the beaches from being resupplied."

D-Day is remembered as one of the most significant events in modern history. The Allied offensive included more than 73,000 American troops, 61,700 British troops and 21,000 Canadian troops. As many as 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded.