COLVILLE-SUR-MER, France — Veterans and those grateful for their sacrifices have marked the 66th anniversary of the D-Day landings, remembering the invasion that turned the tide of the Second World War.
U.S. veteran William Duane Bush, wearing a military jacket, raised the American flag at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, which overlooks Omaha Beach.
It was the first time 93-year-old Bush of Lincoln, Neb., had returned to Europe since the war’s end.
An ecumenical service was held at the cathedral in the town of Bayeux, where a wreath-laying service also took place at the British military cemetery.
Some 215,000 Allied soldiers, and roughly as many Germans, were killed or wounded during D-Day and the ensuing nearly three months it took to secure the capture of Normandy.
In Ottawa, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement, paying tribute to the soldiers who fought on D-Day.
“The Canadian Forces earned their place in the history books that day when they forged ahead by land, air and sea farther than any other Allied troops,” he said.
“We also reflect on the ultimate sacrifice that 5,000 Canadians made during the Battle of Normandy to combat tyranny and secure our freedom, a sacrifice we must all remember,” the prime minister added.