WASHINGTON — Sen. Dean Heller departs Thursday for France where he and eight other senators will mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, his office confirmed.
Heller, R-Nev., and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., were designated co-leaders of the U.S. Senate delegation to Normandy.
They will attend ceremonies at the Normandy American Cemetery and an international gathering at Sword Beach, one of five landings where 156,000 Allied forces took part on June 6, 1944, a turning point of World War II.
“He was invited and is grateful to be able to honor the sacrifices that were made on that somber day,” Heller spokeswoman Chandler Smith said. The Nevadan previously has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan as part of congressional delegations.
The senators are scheduled to return on Saturday.
Smith said Heller’s wife, Lynne, is one of several spouses taking part in the trip, but information was not immediately available on the costs for spouse travel.
President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Holland, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Queen Elizabeth II are some of the heads of state scheduled to take part in the events.
Other senators traveling to Normandy are Robert Casey, D-Pa; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Jon Tester, D-Mont., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii.
Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at STetreault@stephensmedia.com or 202-783-1760. Find him on Twitter: @STetreaultDC.