WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — Fifty-six members of Congress are heading to Normandy, France, for observances marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion — but for one of the lawmakers, the trip is especially meaningful. 

Texas Congressman Michael McCaul’s father was a bombardier on a B-17 as Americans and their allies stormed ashore on June 6, 1944. 

McCaul says his dad’s service is largely why he decided to run for office. 

On Thursday, McCaul will stand on the same beaches his dad flew over 75 years ago. 

“The reason I want to go to this 75th anniversary is because this may be one of the last ones where we will have World War II veterans there. I think by the 80th anniversary they are all passing on.”

McCaul says his dad didn’t really talk about his time in the war, but he was his hero — and the reason he ran for office in the first place.

“He died when I was 23,” said McCaul. “He was 63 years old. And you know I miss him, but he has always been a source of inspiration for me to serve my country. Told me a lot about duty, honor, courage, country.”

McCaul says it’s now up to him and the next generations to honor and remember the greatest generation.