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Tucson's veteran community observes D-Day 80th anniversary at VFW Post 549

Emotional speeches and prayers pay tribute to those who served in pivotal World War II battle
Posted at 5:54 PM, Jun 06, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — June 6 marks the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion at Normandy, a pivotal event in World War II that ultimately led to the liberation of France from Nazi control.

In Tucson, veterans assembled at VFW Post 549 to honor those who participated in this historic battle.

Post Commander Stuart Jensen read excerpts from a speech by President Ronald Reagan, originally delivered on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, which paid tribute to the bravery and heroism of the Allied forces.

In addition to the readings, the veterans and attendees joined in a community prayer, remembering all soldiers who have fallen in foreign wars. The event underscored the enduring bond among military veterans, a sentiment echoed by Commander Jensen.

“We look after each other in combat,” Jensen said. “Somebody has to be looking out for your back. And it continues as you get out, and you retire or just get out of the military. You still have that feeling.”

VFW Post 549, the second largest in Arizona with 1,480 members, stands as a pillar of support and camaraderie for Tucson’s veteran community. The only post larger in the state is located in Sierra Vista.

According to VFW member Dean Agardi, Post 549 will be closed for the week of June 10 for floor renovations.

However, members and the public can look forward to the post’s next major event, held on Friday, June 14 to celebrate Flag Day and the birthday of the U.S. Army.

On July 4th, VFW Post 549 will host festivities to celebrate Independence Day.

Joel Foster is a multimedia journalist at KGUN 9 who previously worked as an English teacher in both Boston and the Tucson area. Joel has experience working with web, print and video in the tech, finance, nonprofit and the public sectors. In his off-time, you might catch Joel taking part in Tucson's local comedy scene. Share your story ideas with Joel at, or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram or X.