On Tuesday, June 6, 1944, the Allied forces of World War II landed on the beaches of Normandy, with over 160,000 men participating in history's largest seaborne invasion. By the end of D-Day, none of the assault forces had secured their first-day objectives, and an estimated 10,000 Allied soldiers were killed, wounded or missing in action, including 6,603 American casualties.

Yet over the course of the following days, the Allies gradually expanded their foothold, and began the liberation of German-occupied France, and eventually Europe, from Nazi control.

Though historians still debate what the "D" stood for, there is no disputing the legacy of D-Day, which will forever be remembered as one of the U.S. military's finest hours. And this year, as that fateful day turns 75 years old, several special ceremonies and events have been planned to commemorate the heroism displayed on the beaches of Normandy all those years ago.

D-Day observances planned for the 75th anniversary

The small community of Bedford, Virginia, lost 20 of the 32 sons it sent to the invasion of Normandy, earning the town the tragic yet honorable distinction of sustaining the highest per capita D-Day losses of any American city. In 2001, Bedford became the site of the National D-Day Memorial, which this year will observe the 75th Anniversary by hosting six days of ceremonies, displays, interviews and more, beginning June 4 and concluding on June 9.

Included in the schedule of events is an aerial tribute to veterans on the morning of June 6, followed by a commemorative observance titled "The Final Salute," which organizers expect will represent the last large gathering of D-Day veterans around the globe. The itinerary for that Thursday also includes World War II reenactments, a USO show and a free screening of "Saving Private Ryan," which memorably and thrillingly depicts the U.S. forces landing at Omaha Beach.

Other commemorative events will be held on the day of the 75th anniversary in Alexandria, Virginia; Louisville, Kentucky and Wheaton, Illinois, according to this list of D-Day observances being held throughout the world.

"The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.""The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement."

Each year, thousands of people visit Normandy to reflect on the acts of sacrifice that took place there more than seven decades ago. And for the 75th anniversary, one very special visitor will be making a return trip of sorts.

In 2015, a derelict airplane was discovered in a boneyard in Wisconsin, and aviation historians determined it was actually the plane that led the D-Day invasion. Donors were able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the plane's restoration, and by 2018, it was once again in flying condition.

And on June 5, the historic Dakota C-47 will meet up with a dozen other European Dakotas to form a "D-Day Squadron" that will recreate the start of Normandy invasion by crossing the English Channel, according to the New York Times.

"That's why we're doing this mission," said Andy Maag, who is piloting the 75-year-old C-47. "We're bringing history to life."