ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - With each passing anniversary, the living links to D-Day are getting fewer and fewer.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II only about a half million are still alive. The number who served in D-Day is far fewer than that.
There were no ceremonies in the Twin Cities on Tuesday for the 73rd anniversary, partly because it's an odd-numbered anniversary and also so few veterans remain.
But there was one service for a D-Day veteran, who received a fitting send -off.
Alan Jacobs flew a B-26 during World War II. His flight jacket bears the faded mark of each mission.
“But if you look there's 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 67 missions he went on and this one right here that has a D around it,” said Leon Jacobs, Alan’s son.
That one, number 39, is Alan’s mission on D-Day.
His photo album from the war even has pictures he took from his plane over the invasion fleet.
“He flew in this medium range bomber, B-26, to soften up the coast of Normandy, which meant to bomb the coast before the invasion occurred,” said Leon.
Alan died in 2010 and was cremated.
When his wife died last week, their son decided it was only appropriate to lay them both to rest together at Fort Snelling and that the service should be on D-Day.
“It was such a big part of who he was, so I think it was a fitting way to put closure to a great life that he lived,” said Evan Wright, Alan’s grandson.
At their joint interment, Alan’s grandson, Evan Wright, read a letter Alan wrote on D-Day to his wife.
“This morning the brief started at 1:30 a.m. and we were underway by 4 a.m.,” Wright read. “More boats were in the channel than I have ever seen in the entire world. They were so thick you could walk across the channel on their decks.”
There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of veterans who served on D-Day at Fort Snelling. There's no exact database, but there are 17 interments of veterans who died on D-Day.
Alan Jacobs is in good company, now seven years after his death on this "Day of days."
“Appropriate because he was so much a part of that event,” said Leon.