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Reuters/Christian Hartmann
D-Day veterans, including Richard Llewellyn and Mervyn Kersh from Britain and Norman Duncan from the US, attend a ceremony near Omaha Beach on June 4.
75 YEARS LATER

Photos: World War II veterans commemorate D-Day in France

By Johnny Simon

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.

AP Photo/Francisco Seco
A spectator shakes the hand of a British veteran who is part of a procession leaving the Bayeux Cathedral after a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Bayeux, Normandy, on June 6.
REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
US World War II paratrooper veteran Tom Rice, 97, who served with the 101st Airbone, participates in a commemorative parachute jump over Carentan on the Normandy coast ahead of the 75th D-Day anniversary on June 5.
AP Photo/Francisco Seco
A World War II veteran talks to a soldier at the end of a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day at the Bayeux War Cemetery in Bayeux, Normandy, on June 6.
REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Paratroopers participate in a commemorative jump over Sannverville in Normandy on June 5.
US Army/Sgt. Dommnique Washington/Handout via REUTERS
World War II veterans are greeted by a crowd at the 3rd Infantry Division Old Hickory memorial ceremony ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Normandy D-Day landings in Mortain, France, on June 2.
GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau meets with veterans in Normandy on June 6.
Reuters/Christian Hartmann
American D-Day veteran George Shenkle talks with students from France after a ceremony at Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, situated above Omaha Beach, as France prepares to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day, in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, on June 4.
Neil Hall/Pool/Getty Images
Normandy veterans lay wreaths during the Royal British Legion Service of Remembrance at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery on June 6 in Bayeux, France.
REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
American and French flags are seen in the cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer in Normandy on June 6.
REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
US president Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump sit next to World War II veterans during a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Veterans arrive for a commemoration event on the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings on June 6, in Arromanches Les Bains, France.
GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images
Canadian veterans stand for the National Anthem during the international ceremony on Juno Beach in Courseulles-sur-Mer, Normandy, on June 6.
GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images
A Canadian veteran collects sand from Juno beach on June 6.