NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tom Blakely, an Army parachutist who dropped into Normandy during the June 6, 1944 invasion, will be the featured speaker Thursday at the National World War II Museum's ceremonies marking the invasion's 69th anniversary.

Blakely, who was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, will speak at 11 a.m. Other events are planned throughout the day at the museum to commemorate what has become known to history as the D-Day invasion.

More than 150,000 troops — mostly Americans, British, Canadians and French — took part in the invasion, which signaled a push into north and western Europe against Nazi forces. The war ended less than a year later.