Europe

Historic D-Day flag brought to Dutch military museum

  • World War II veterans sit behind an American flag carried during D-Day in 1944 after it arrived at the National Military Museum in Soesterberg, Netherlands, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. The American 48-star flag was flown on the stern of the US Navy ship LCC 60, which was the leading vessel on 6 June 1944, responsible for directing the invasion fleet and the first American troops to Utah Beach in Normandy, France. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

    World War II veterans sit behind an American flag carried during D-Day in 1944 after it arrived at the National Military Museum in Soesterberg, Netherlands, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. The American 48-star flag was flown on the stern of the US Navy ship LCC 60, which was the leading vessel on 6 June 1944, responsible for directing the invasion fleet and the first American troops to Utah Beach in Normandy, France. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)  (The Associated Press)

  • A World War II veteran adjusts his medals prior to the arrival ceremony for an American flag carried during D-Day in 1944 at the National Military Museum in Soesterberg, Netherlands, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. The American 48-star flag was flown on the stern of the US Navy ship LCC 60, which was the leading vessel on 6 June 1944, responsible for directing the invasion fleet and the first American troops to Utah Beach in Normandy, France. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

    A World War II veteran adjusts his medals prior to the arrival ceremony for an American flag carried during D-Day in 1944 at the National Military Museum in Soesterberg, Netherlands, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. The American 48-star flag was flown on the stern of the US Navy ship LCC 60, which was the leading vessel on 6 June 1944, responsible for directing the invasion fleet and the first American troops to Utah Beach in Normandy, France. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)  (The Associated Press)

  • John MacLeod, a ninety-three-year-old World War II veteran from Toronto, Canada, sits behind an American flag carried during D-Day in 1944 after it arrived at the National Military Museum in Soesterberg, Netherlands, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. The American 48-star flag was flown on the stern of the US Navy ship LCC 60, which was the leading vessel on 6 June 1944, responsible for directing the invasion fleet and the first American troops to Utah Beach in Normandy, France. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

    John MacLeod, a ninety-three-year-old World War II veteran from Toronto, Canada, sits behind an American flag carried during D-Day in 1944 after it arrived at the National Military Museum in Soesterberg, Netherlands, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. The American 48-star flag was flown on the stern of the US Navy ship LCC 60, which was the leading vessel on 6 June 1944, responsible for directing the invasion fleet and the first American troops to Utah Beach in Normandy, France. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)  (The Associated Press)

The Dutch defense minister has welcomed to the national military museum a historic U.S. flag flown on the stern of the boat that led the first American troops onto Utah Beach on D-Day.

The fragile flag was flown to the museum in a Chinook transport helicopter and greeted on Thursday by dignitaries that included a group of American World War II veterans.

Dutch businessman Bertram Kreuk, who bought the 48-star flag at an auction in Texas for $514,000, has loaned it to the museum.

Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert says the flag "should remind us that freedom must never be taken for granted."

The Dallas-based auction house that arranged the flag's sale in June says the banner bears a bullet hole that is believed to have come from a German machine gun.