Two special exhibits and summer programs recall the turning point of World War II

Eighty years ago, soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division played a leading role in the Allied invasion of Normandy, storming Omaha Beach and jump-starting the liberation of Europe during World War II. Cantigny will commemorate that pivotal day—June 6, 1944, and the days surrounding it—all summer.

D-Day is sometimes called the “24 hours that saved the world.” It’s an epic chapter of military history that demands remembrance. Underlying OperationOverlord’s glorious outcome is the story of extreme sacrifice. On Omaha Beach alone, more than 2,000 American soldiers died in combat.

The First Division Museum at Cantigny is remembering D-Day with two special exhibits and themed programming. Unless indicated below ($), all are free to the public with paid parking.

  • Nothing But Victory” is an immersive outdoor installation spanning 300 yards across the Cantigny landscape, simulating the man-made and topographical features that soldiers encountered in Normandy. Elements along the exhibit trail blend art and history to convey a powerful message of both triumph and loss. (Free guided tours are available June 8, July 13, and August 24; see FDMuseum.org for details.) Exhibit opens June 6.
  • Over Land, Over Sea, Overlord,” inside the museum, explores the personal D-Day stories of seven well-known personalities, revealing a profound intersection of celebrity and sacrifice. The actions of the featured servicemen speak to the universal call to defend liberty in the face of adversity. Exhibit opens May 25.
  • Victory Feast: A Culinary Commemoration of D-Day’s 80th Anniversary - Thursday, June 6 – 6 pm Enjoy a cocktail reception with chilled raw bar followed by a tour of “Nothing But Victory,” guided by First Division Museum curator Jessica Waszak. After the tour, sit down to an exquisite four-course “farm-style dinner” outside the museum with French wine pairings. To RSVP, visit Cantigny.org. ($)
  • Moonlight Movie: “Saving Private Ryan” (R) - Friday, June 7 – 8:15 pm ($) Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks, this gripping war movie is set during the Normandy invasion. The story line is emotional, the combat scenes graphic and intense, including the Omaha Beach landing on D-Day.
  • Evening Symphony: Commemorating D-Day in Music - Saturday, June 8 – 7:30 pm Gather in the Tank Park for this timely performance by the West Suburban Symphony, featuring stirring patriotic and military music, including the “Band of Brothers” suite and the “Saving Private Ryan” theme, among other selections.
  • Lectures (presentation times vary; check FDMuseum.org)
    • Celebrity Servicemen: Famous Individuals of D-Day / June 8, July 8, September 23
    • Faces of D-Day / June 10, September 9
    • Beyond the Beaches: The 1st Division and Armor at Normandy / June 17, July 22, August 5
    • Dynamic Leadership: Three Generals and the 1st Infantry Division / August 19

Cantigny is open every day except Tuesday and offers free admission every Wednesday for those who register in advance. The park opens at 7 am. See First Division Museum hours, parking fees, and a full calendar of upcoming events at Cantigny.org. The museum will offer extended hours June 6-9.


About Cantigny
Cantigny, in Wheaton, Illinois, is the 500-acre estate of Colonel Robert R. McCormick (1880-1955), long-time editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, and founder of the Chicago-based Robert R. McCormick Foundation. It is home to display gardens, walking trails, a museum dedicated to the 1st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army, a highly ranked 27-hole public golf course and a golf academy for all ages and ability levels. More information is online at Cantigny.org, including hours, admission fees and upcoming events.



« Back

          Sign up for our email newsletter Sign Up

Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce
306 Main St.
West Chicago, IL 60185
Phone: 630-231-3003
Fax: 630-231-3009
Email: team@westerndupagechamber.com

Monday- Friday: 8:00 AM-Noon 1:00 PM-5:00 PM
Saturday: By Appointment Only
Sunday: Closed