TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Wednesday was the final dress rehearsal for a special D-Day program at MacDill A.F.B. in Tampa.
"This is going to be a fantastic event," said Lt. Col. Brian Sheehan. "It's the culmination of a lot of people, a lot of effort, and a lot of planning,"
Sheehan is in charge of the program, including the 11 World War II veterans who will sit in the front row of MacDill's theatre. They'll be matched with 11 current service members from the same military branch and rank the veterans held 75 years ago.
"It's a good opportunity for me to thank them in person for what they did for us," said PO2 Amanda Cabrera of the Coast Guard.
The theatre will be filled with music from the 1940s and participants dressed in period costumes.
MacDill's heritage dates back to the late 1930s. The Army Air Corp accelerated its construction as events threatened to pull the U.S. into the war. MacDill opened in 1940 to train bomber pilots and crews who would later serve in Europe bombing Nazi Germany.
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The massive war effort led up to D-Day in 1944.
"It's really these men and women who were ready to answer the call and go and do that fighting bravely on the shores of Normandy,"
Several of the top generals in the Air Force will attend. They're at MacDill for a conference. The top master sergeant in the Air Force will speak at the program. But the World War II veterans will be the guests of honor.