Presidents Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron joined the thousands of people gathered at the Normandy American Cemetery to honour D-Day veterans and remember the thousands who died in the seaborne invasion that marked the beginning of the end of World War II, Euronews reports.
Addressing the crowd, Trump said: «Today we remember those who fell and we honour all who fought right here in Normandy. They won back this ground for civilisation.»
The US leader added that the servicemen were «among the very greatest Americans who will ever live».
«We thank you from the bottom of our hearts,» said Trump.
Trump also praised France, saying: «Thank you for honouring our beloved dead.»
In an earlier ceremony Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May said thank you to D-Day veterans and those who lost their lives.
Veterans in uniforms assisted the ceremony in Ver-Sur-Mer, France, where Macron and May laid the cornerstone of a new memorial that will have the names of the thousands of British troops who died on D-Day and the ensuing Battle of Normandy.
«If one day can be said to have determined the fate of generations to come, in France, in Britain, in Europe and the world, that day was the 6th of June, 1944,» said May. To the veterans she addressed these words: «thank you».
Macron thanked the veterans and «all those who were killed so that France could become free again.»
An hour after sunrise, a lone piper kicked off the memorial events by playing atop the remnants of an artificial harbour built in the Arromanches commune to mark the moment the first British soldier landed on Gold Beach