The Record

Two local veterans’ celebrations Monday will focus on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when the Allies invaded Nazi-held Europe on June 7, 1944. The theme will be present throughout the Veterans Council of St. Johns County, which will take place at 11 a.m. in the 1,200-seat auditorium of the Anastasia Baptist Church. The anniversary will also be front and center at the nearby City of St. Augustine Beach ceremony, at 3 p.m. in Lakeside Veterans Memorial Sculpture Garden, 2300 A1A South.

Retired Navy Capt. James P. Ransom III will be the principal speaker at the St. Augustine Beach City ceremony. A highly decorated submarine commander with 30 years of service, Ransom is vice chairman of the National D-Day Memorial Board of Directors. This national memorial to D-Day, located in Bedford, Virginia, is perhaps lesser known than other monuments in Washington, D.C., but Ransom explains that it is worthy testament to Operation Overlord which was "the culmination of two-and-a-half years of economic and military preparation, and intense planning, that led to the landings in Normandy, beginning the final push to defeat Hitler’s Nazi Germany."

The celebration at the Anastasia Baptist Church will feature displays from over 40 veterans-related organizations, including D-Day/WWII era vehicles, arms, uniforms and other items from the Military Museum of North Florida in Green Cove Springs.

The St. Augustine Beach celebration will also feature St. Johns County Veterans Council Chairman Lt. Col. (Ret.) Bill Dudley as emcee, appropriate music and ceremony, and refreshments.

For information on both events, visit