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D-Day programming: NBC, the History Channel

From left, World War II veterans of the

From left, World War II veterans of the U.S. 29th Infantry Division, Hal Baumgarten, 90, from Pennsylvania, Steve Melnikoff, 94, from Maryland, Don McCarthy, 90, from Rhode Island, and Morley Piper, 90, from Massachusetts, attend a D-Day commemoration, on Omaha Beach on Friday June 6, 2014. Photo Credit: AP

The 70th anniversary of D-Day today will be marked by at least two major programs -- on NBC ("Brian Williams Reporting: Journey to Normandy" at 8) and the History Channel. Meanwhile, if you are near a set, live coverage of D-Day ceremonies are being covered on CNN and MSNBC.

This is, of course, an enormously important anniversary, for how many veterans of that historical day will be around for the 80th anniversary, to tell their grandchildren and great-children what happened and why it was so vitally important.

Meanwhile, HBO is airing "Band of Brothers" all day; you can check in virtually any time, for each of the programs can be watched as stand-alones -- and still convey the power of history as it was happening. I've posted Tom Brokaw's piece -- one of them, from Thursday's "Today Show."

Brokaw, of course, has staked out living history of the WW2 generation in books and programs going back 20 years now. He is one of the great storytellers of the so-named "Greatest Generations." Kudos to Brian Williams as well who is with Brokaw in Normandy. A shame the other major broadcast networks haven't sent their top anchors to convey to other generations exactly why this is so important.

Before we jump to the clips, check out HBO's full documentary ---posted below -- on Easy Company, the infantry regiment of the 101st Airborne that parachuted into Normandy just before the invasion. This was a companion to "Band of Brothers" which HBO has made available to anyone who wants to understand why a 10-part documentary could have been -- and should have been made. This 2001 film was directed by Mark Cowen, who died in 2012.

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