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AP PHOTOS: A look at the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy

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Veterans from the U.S., Britain and Canada, more than two dozen heads of state and countless others took to the beaches of Normandy and elsewhere this week to mark the 80th anniversary of the June 6, 1944, D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied France.

In Sannerville, Normandy, spectators turned their eyes skyward as some 400 paratroopers from Britain, Belgium, the United States and Canada participated in a multinational parachute drop.

Casts of veterans sat side-by-side in Sainte-Mere-Eglise during an American Airlines veterans parade — some sharing stories or shaking hands with passersby, and some perched quietly behind sunglasses with afternoon sunlight beating down from overhead.

French and U.S. flags lined the blue-and-red walkway the led U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden to the stage for opening ceremonies Thursday alongside France’s President Emmanuel Macron and first lady Brigitte Macron.

Meanwhile, Britain’s King Charles III joined Macron at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer, Normandy, while Queen Camilla and Brigitte Macron laid flowers near the memorial wall.

Reenactors in period clothing gathered in Utah Beach ahead of commemorative ceremonies while soldiers, veterans and others laid wreaths or threw flowers into the water at the shore. Nearby, U.S. joint military service academy choir members clutched horns as they took part in their own ceremony.

International pipers dressed in green and yellow marched their way from Bayeux Cathedral to the Great Vigil at the Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s Bayeux War Cemetery.

And France’s Prime Minister Gabriel Attal joined Britain’s Prince William and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in laying flowers at the Juno Beach Centre near Courseulles-sur-Mer, Normandy.

Everywhere, flags waved in the breeze and crowds rested in momentary silence.

By The Associated Press


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