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Virginia launches WWI and WWII Commission

RICHMOND (WSLS 10) - A delegation from The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford will be in Richmond Thursday to help launch a major commemoration of World War I and World War II.

The General Assembly created the Virginia World War I and World War II Commission to mark the 100th and 75th anniversaries of those wars.

Programs will be held across the commonwealth from now until 2020, signifying the length of U.S. involvement in World War II.

The National D-Day Memorial's signature event during the commemoration will be the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019.

"It was a Virginia National Guard unit that went in first on Omaha Beach on D-Day. So Virginians really did play such a vital role," said Maggie Mitchell, Education Coordinator for The National D-Day Memorial.

The memorial is one of dozens of sites that will hold events over the next four years. The commission is hoping to replicate the success of the 2015 Civil War sesquicentennial, where Virginia saw millions of visitors and tourism dollars.

"It gives us a lot more marketing opportunities," said Mitchell.

The Richmond commemoration event will be live streamed online. You can watch it as it happens at the Bedford Welcome Center starting at 9:15 a.m. Friday.