Students from New York State got the incredible honor to perform music in France to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

The Albany Marching Falcons Performed in France for D-Day

The band took part in the country’s commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion during World War II. The band was first invited to commemorate D-Day five years ago during the 75th anniversary. Now they are back in France for an encore performance – one of just two bands from around the world invited.

The Albany Marching Falcons Honor D-Day

The Albany Marching Falcons are a marching band that is open to all students in grades 6-12 that are part of the Albany City School District. The band performs regularly throughout the Capital District and has also performed in Washington D.C., NYC, Ireland, and France.

Director Bryan Cady says on the Albany Marching Falcons website, "As an educator, the opportunity to bring students to France for the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings of World War II holds significant educational, historical, and cultural importance. But most importantly, we get to take this generation of students and make them the next group of memory keepers for those we call The Greatest Generation'."


The Albany Marching Falcons was the only band representing NYS playing the parade route along Omaha Beach, and by doing so the students gained an intimate perspective on this incredible moment in history. As an inner city District, many of the students face economic challenges.

  • Historical Significance:
    • The D-Day Landings on June 6, 1944, marked a pivotal moment in World War II. It was the largest seaborne invasion in history and played a crucial role in the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi occupation.
    • Visiting Omaha Beach allows students to connect with the historical events that took place, gaining a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made by soldiers and the impact on the course of history.
  • Learning Through Experience:
    • Experiencing historical sites first hand provides a unique and immersive learning opportunity. Students can walk on the same beaches where the landings occurred, explore military bunkers, and gain a tangible sense of the challenges faced by the Allied forces.
    • Engaging with primary sources, such as museums, monuments, and the stories of local residents and WWII Veterans can offer a more profound and personal understanding of the events surrounding D-Day.
  • Memorial and Remembrance:
    • The 80th anniversary serves as an occasion for commemoration and remembrance. Participating in memorial events, ceremonies, and paying respects at cemeteries, such as the Normandy American Cemetery, instills a sense of reverence for those who sacrificed their lives for freedom.
    • It also reinforces the importance of remembering historical events and the role each individual can play in preserving the memory of past generations.
    • Traveling to historical sites can contribute to personal growth by fostering empathy, tolerance, and an appreciation for diversity. Students may develop a greater understanding of the human cost of war and the value of peace and diplomacy.


Cady also said,

"Bringing our students to France for the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings offers a multifaceted educational experience that combines historical understanding, cultural appreciation, and personal growth. It allows students to connect with the past in a meaningful way and reinforces the importance of remembrance, and respect for the sacrifices and achievements made by those that came before us."

"WWII War Hero" Can Be Found at Hudson Valley Regional Airport

Gallery Credit: Conor Walsh