Veterans from several countries were honored today (June 6) near the beaches of Normandy, France for the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the massive Allied land invasion that turned the tide of World War II in Europe and led to the downfall of Hitler’s Third Reich. US president Donald Trump was joined by French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Angela Merkel, British prime minister Theresa May, as well as Queen Elizabeth and several other world leaders.
“We know what we owe to you, our veterans: our freedom. On behalf of my country, I want to say ‘thank you,'” Reuters reported Macron saying to a group of US veterans.
Each year’s commemoration of D-Day grows more poignant, as fewer and fewer of those who served on the pivotal day remain alive. As of 2018, less than 500,000 of the 16 million American veterans who served in World War II were living; according to statistics from the US Department of Veteran Affairs, 384 American World War II vets die every day.
Photos from this week showcase the many ways this generation is still being honored, as well as how they remember their service: from a series of commemorative marches and memorials to a parachute jump out of an airplane.