D-Day: Matt Damon Narrates In the Company of Heroes for NBC

This summer’s 2024 Paris Olympics coverage on NBC will include a 22-minute documentary honoring Americans who participated in D-Day. A four-minute preview of the D-Day documentary is available online and will air during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials this weekend.

Oscar winner Matt Damon narrates In the Company of Heroes, a 22-minute feature honoring the American men and women who risked and sacrificed their lives 80 years ago today — June 6, 1944 — during World War II’s Normandy landings on D-Day. The feature, produced by David Picker and Ron Vaccaro, is set to premiere later this summer during NBCUniversal’s coverage of the Olympic Games Paris 2024. Click here to watch a four-minute preview.

The piece documents surviving veterans of D-Day and World War II at large and their 2023 return to the beaches of Normandy, where they reminisce on the unprecedented operation and are celebrated by the local French citizens of the seaside region. Known as the operation that began the liberation of France and, ultimately, laid the groundwork for the demise of the Axis powers, D-Day is, arguably, one of the most pivotal days in 20th century global history. In these 22 minutes, viewers get access to the soldiers who were on the frontlines of this historic day – and how 80 years later, their heroic actions are still felt around the world and particularly in northern France.

“The story of the young American men and women who served so valiantly alongside the other Allied Forces 80 years ago is one that should never be lost to time and history,” said Ron Vaccaro, VP, Editorial at NBC Sports. “Thankfully, the special connections formed then – and now – between the American vets and the French people in towns throughout the Normandy region will ensure that the shared sacrifices that changed the course of world history will endure for generations to come.”

Former NFL player Donnie Edwards, a two-time All-Pro linebacker who played 13 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers, and his charity, the Best Defense Foundation, feature prominently within the piece. Edwards is seen organizing the trip to Normandy for the veterans and, in an exclusive interview, details his passion for military philanthropy and the importance of honoring and helping those who have served, long after their days of active duty are over

The four-minute preview clip of In the Company of Heroes will air during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials special this Saturday, June 8, at 2 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock. The full 22-minute feature will premiere during NBCU’s coverage of the Paris Olympic Games, with the exact timing to be announced at a later date.

Delta Air Lines is the presenting sponsor of this feature and provided transportation from Atlanta to Normandy’s Deauville Airport.

Following are some brief excerpts from In the Company of Heroes:

Edwards on creating the Best Defense Foundation: “After I retired, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. My passion was giving back to all those who served…making sure they’re taken care of. This is my cause. This is my purpose.”

U.S. Army Nurse veteran Betty Huffman-Rosevear (103 years old) on revisiting the Normandy region in 2023: “Going to the (French) schools with the children, they knew who we were. They were smiling and waving at us. It’s just like nothing I’ve ever seen.”

U.S. Army veteran Andy Negra (100 years old) on French villagers’ reaction after landing in Normandy in 2023: “The people were greeting us like you wouldn’t believe. Waving our flags, waving the French flags, wanting to shake our hands. I felt honored.”

***
In Paris this summer, the world’s greatest athletes will compete against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful cities in the world where the modern Olympic Games were conceived 130 years ago. This will be the third time Paris has hosted the Olympics (1900 and 1924), tying London for the most as a Summer Games host. Los Angeles (1932, 1984) will tie those two cities when it hosts the first Summer Games in the U.S. in 32 years in 2028.

The Paris organizers are reimagining the Games to make them more accessible to the public and to showcase their city to the world. In a first, competitions will be held amidst iconic Parisian landmarks – beach volleyball at the Eiffel Tower, equestrian at the Palace of Versailles, and urban sports at Place de la Concorde. The surfing competition will take place nearly 10,000 miles from Paris in Tahiti, a part of French Polynesia.

The NBC broadcast network and streaming service Peacock will be the company’s primary platforms for its coverage of the Olympic Games Paris 2024, scheduled for July 26-Aug. 11, 2024.

NBCUniversal owns the U.S. media rights to the Olympic Games through 2032, which are scheduled for Paris (2024), Milan Cortina (2026), Los Angeles (2028) and Brisbane (2032). The host city for the 2030 Olympic Winter Games has not yet been chosen.

The Paris 2024 Olympics will take place July 26-Aug. 11, 2024 and air or stream across the NBC family of networks and Peacock.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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