FRANCE, (AP) – Thousands of people and a handful of surviving U.S. D-Day veterans gathered at the Normandy American Cemetery to honor thousands fallen in the pivotal invasion 75 years ago.
Veterans themselves took places on the stage where President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke, to the sound of wartime American songs and military music.
Veterans’ families, including children, settled in the front rows, while other guests clustered amid the vast expanse of rows of white crosses stretching through carefully trimmed lawns on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach, the plunging view on the Atlantic a reminder of the sacrifices of American soldiers.
About 12,000 people were expected at the ceremony. Macron awarded five U.S. veterans the Legion of honor, France’s highest distinction.