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New Orleans, a city familiar with giving parades, hosted a special one Tuesday to honor the World War II veterans who took part in the D-Day landing in Normandy.

The parade, with 63 units and a flyover of 40 military aircraft, was part of a day-long ceremony marking the opening of the National D-Day Museum.

"I never got a parade when I came home," said Jack Hoffler of Hertford, N.C., who at 14 was the youngest Navy combat sailor in the June 6, 1944, American invasion at Normandy. "I came home on a bus, late at night."

"We're told it's the largest gathering of World War II veterans since World War II," reports Eric Paulsen, an anchor for WWL-TV, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans.

More than a half century later, the events leading up to the opening of the National D-Day Museum have put the limelight back on Hoffler and fellow World War II veterans. About 10,000 of them, including eight who wear the Congressional Medal of Honor, took part in the opening ceremonies in the city long known for its Mardi

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