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Paying tribute to World War II veterans during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Paying tribute to World War II veterans during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

Paying tribute to World War II veterans during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Paying tribute to World War II veterans during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

Participants in a wreath-laying ceremony pose for photos during the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Participants in a wreath-laying ceremony pose for photos during the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

World War II veteran Herman Zeitchik, who landed on Utah Beach on H-Hour of D-Day and later fought in the Battle of the Bulge, takes part in a wreath-laying ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

World War II veteran Herman Zeitchik, who landed on Utah Beach on H-Hour of D-Day and later fought in the Battle of the Bulge, takes part in a wreath-laying ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

World War II veteran Robert Levine waves as he's introduced at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

World War II veteran Robert Levine waves as he's introduced at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

World War II veteran Bilialdo Blea salutes as he's introduced at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

World War II veteran Bilialdo Blea salutes as he's introduced at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

World War II veteran Charles Lawrence Wheeler salutes during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

World War II veteran Charles Lawrence Wheeler salutes during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

Donald McKee, who landed in Normandy on D-Day +1, salutes during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Donald McKee, who landed in Normandy on D-Day +1, salutes during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

World Warr II veterans at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

World Warr II veterans at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

World War II veteran Stan Walsh takes a photo during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

World War II veteran Stan Walsh takes a photo during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

A U.S. Army Band drummer at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

A U.S. Army Band drummer at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

A ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

A ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

A veteran takes a photo during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

A veteran takes a photo during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

World War II veteran Dick Bailey, right, who flew three missions over Omaha Beach on D-Day, talks with Australian Wing Cmdr. Matt Stuckles during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

World War II veteran Dick Bailey, right, who flew three missions over Omaha Beach on D-Day, talks with Australian Wing Cmdr. Matt Stuckles during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

A bugler stands above tributes left at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., before a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019.

A bugler stands above tributes left at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., before a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

Spectators at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Spectators at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

The U.S. Army Band ("Pershing's Own") plays at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Army Band ("Pershing's Own") plays at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

World War II veterans arrive at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

World War II veterans arrive at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

World War II veterans arrive at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

World War II veterans arrive at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

World War II veterans arrive at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

World War II veterans arrive at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

The U.S. Armed Forces Color Guard, at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Armed Forces Color Guard, at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

A selfie with World War II veteran Anthony Grant before a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

A selfie with World War II veteran Anthony Grant before a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

World War II veteran Herman Zeitchik, who landed on Utah Beach on H-Hour of D-Day and later fought in the Battle of the Bulge, awaits the start of a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

World War II veteran Herman Zeitchik, who landed on Utah Beach on H-Hour of D-Day and later fought in the Battle of the Bulge, awaits the start of a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

World War II veterans James Keele, left, and Anthony Grant shake hands before a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Keele was a gunner on the SS John Chandler during the invasion, while Grant served in Quartermaster Corps in Normandy and later fought in the Korean War.

World War II veterans James Keele, left, and Anthony Grant shake hands before a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Keele was a gunner on the SS John Chandler during the invasion, while Grant served in Quartermaster Corps in Normandy and later fought in the Korean War. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

World War II veteran Robert Levine kisses his granddaughter, Sarah Powers, before a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

World War II veteran Robert Levine kisses his granddaughter, Sarah Powers, before a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

WASHINGTON — On Robert Levine's 20th birthday, he was captured by the Germans and taken to an operating table. It was July 10, 1944.

When he arrived, a doctor "grabbed my dog tag and wanted to know what the 'H' was on my dog tag," recalled Levine, one of several dozen World War II veterans who were honored Thursday at the Operation Overlord 75th Anniversary Commemoration at the National World War II Memorial.

"I wouldn't tell him," Levine said. "So I closed my eyes and said goodbye to my 20th birthday."

When Levine woke up, he found that his leg had been amputated and there was a note in his upper pocket. It revealed that the doctor, Edgar Woll, had taken his dog tags because the "H" indicated he was Jewish, which might've amounted to a death sentence.

VIDEO:Robert Levine tells his story.

At Thursday's ceremony, marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day landings that led to the liberation of Europe from Nazi rule, speakers made note of how young many of those who fought were when they hit the beaches, parachuted behind enemy lines or offered support from the air or sea.

"It was an awesome responsibility far beyond their years," said Jeffrey Reinhold, acting superintendent of the National Mall and memorial parks.

VIDEO:Introducing the veterans who took part in Thursday's ceremony.

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