Photos: Solemn observances mark 75th anniversary of D-Day

The world turned its eyes Thursday to the beaches of Normandy, France, paying tribute to the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion and the few surviving veterans of that battle that changed the course of World War II. Commemoration events began in France on Wednesday. The sea of mercury blue couldn't have been more peaceful as day broke over Omaha Beach, the first of five code-named beaches where the waters ran red the morning of June 6. Hundreds of people, civilians and military alike, hailing from around the world, gathered at the water's edge, awash in emotion.

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2019 11:30 AM IST 13 Photos
1 / 13
Under heavy German machine gun fire, American infantrymen wade ashore off the ramp of a Coast Guard landing craft during the invasion of the French coast of Normandy in World War II. June 6, 2019, marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the assault that began the liberation of France and Europe from German occupation, leading to the end World War II. (US Coast Guard via AP)

Under heavy German machine gun fire, American infantrymen wade ashore off the ramp of a Coast Guard landing craft during the invasion of the French coast of Normandy in World War II. June 6, 2019, marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the assault that began the liberation of France and Europe from German occupation, leading to the end World War II. (US Coast Guard via AP)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2019 11:30 AM IST
2 / 13
Paratroopers jump to commemorate D-Day over Sannverville in Normandy on June 5, 2019. The biggest-ever air and seaborne invasion took place on D-Day, involving nearly 160,000 troops and many more in the ensuing Battle of Normandy. Troops landed overnight from the air, then were joined by a massive force by sea on beaches code-named Omaha, Utah, Juno, Sword and Gold. (Christian Hartmann / REUTERS)

Paratroopers jump to commemorate D-Day over Sannverville in Normandy on June 5, 2019. The biggest-ever air and seaborne invasion took place on D-Day, involving nearly 160,000 troops and many more in the ensuing Battle of Normandy. Troops landed overnight from the air, then were joined by a massive force by sea on beaches code-named Omaha, Utah, Juno, Sword and Gold. (Christian Hartmann / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2019 11:30 AM IST
3 / 13
Supreme commander for the 1944 cross-channel invasion of the continental mainland, General Dwight D. Eisenhower gives order of the day to the paratroopers, just before they board their airplane to participate in the first assault. “The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory,” Eisenhower predicted in his order of the day. (AFP)

Supreme commander for the 1944 cross-channel invasion of the continental mainland, General Dwight D. Eisenhower gives order of the day to the paratroopers, just before they board their airplane to participate in the first assault. “The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory,” Eisenhower predicted in his order of the day. (AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2019 11:30 AM IST
4 / 13
US Army soldiers of the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, move out over the seawall on Utah Beach after coming ashore on June 6, 1944. Among the Allied troops on D-Day, 73,000 were from the United States, 83,000 from Britain and Canada. They faced some 50,000 German forces. (US National Archives / Army Signal Corps Collection via REUTERS)

US Army soldiers of the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, move out over the seawall on Utah Beach after coming ashore on June 6, 1944. Among the Allied troops on D-Day, 73,000 were from the United States, 83,000 from Britain and Canada. They faced some 50,000 German forces. (US National Archives / Army Signal Corps Collection via REUTERS)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2019 11:30 AM IST
5 / 13
Scottish war veteran John Lamont looks at the graves of fallen British soldiers during a Service of Remembrance at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Bayeux, Normandy, on June 6, 2019. There were victims on all sides. A total of 4,414 Allied troops were killed on D-Day. More than 5,000 were injured. In the ensuing Battle of Normandy, 73,000 Allied forces were killed and 153,000 wounded. (Ben Stansall / AFP)

Scottish war veteran John Lamont looks at the graves of fallen British soldiers during a Service of Remembrance at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Bayeux, Normandy, on June 6, 2019. There were victims on all sides. A total of 4,414 Allied troops were killed on D-Day. More than 5,000 were injured. In the ensuing Battle of Normandy, 73,000 Allied forces were killed and 153,000 wounded. (Ben Stansall / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2019 11:30 AM IST
6 / 13
German prisoners-of-war march along Juno Beach to a ship taking them to England, after being captured by Canadian troops at Bernieres Sur Mer on June 6, 1944. The exact German casualties are not known, but historians estimate between 4,000 and 9,000 men were killed, wounded or missing during the invasion. Some 22,000 German soldiers are buried around Normandy. (Ken Bell / National Archives of Canada via REUTERS)

German prisoners-of-war march along Juno Beach to a ship taking them to England, after being captured by Canadian troops at Bernieres Sur Mer on June 6, 1944. The exact German casualties are not known, but historians estimate between 4,000 and 9,000 men were killed, wounded or missing during the invasion. Some 22,000 German soldiers are buried around Normandy. (Ken Bell / National Archives of Canada via REUTERS)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2019 11:30 AM IST
7 / 13
A US Army jeep which came ashore following the D-Day landings, makes its way into the destroyed Normandy town of St-Lo. From the beaches, Allied troops would advance their fight, take Paris in late summer and march in a race against the Soviet Red Army to control as much German territory as possible by the time Adolf Hitler died in his Berlin bunker and Germany surrendered in May 1945. (National Archives of Canada via REUTERS)

A US Army jeep which came ashore following the D-Day landings, makes its way into the destroyed Normandy town of St-Lo. From the beaches, Allied troops would advance their fight, take Paris in late summer and march in a race against the Soviet Red Army to control as much German territory as possible by the time Adolf Hitler died in his Berlin bunker and Germany surrendered in May 1945. (National Archives of Canada via REUTERS)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2019 11:30 AM IST
8 / 13
US soldiers dressed in WWII US military uniforms stand guard during a ceremony on Omaha Beach in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, western France on June 5, 2019, in homage to Native Americans who took part in the D-Day landings of World War II. The second day of ceremonies moved to France after spirited commemorations in Portsmouth, England, the main embarkation point for the transport boats. (Loic Venance / AFP)

US soldiers dressed in WWII US military uniforms stand guard during a ceremony on Omaha Beach in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, western France on June 5, 2019, in homage to Native Americans who took part in the D-Day landings of World War II. The second day of ceremonies moved to France after spirited commemorations in Portsmouth, England, the main embarkation point for the transport boats. (Loic Venance / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2019 11:30 AM IST
9 / 13
“You are the pride of our nation, you are the glory of our republic and we thank you from the bottom of our heart,” Trump said, of the “warriors” of an “epic battle”. In his speech, Macron praised the “unthinkable courage,” ‘’the generosity” and “the strength of spirit” that made them press on “to help men and women they didn’t know, to liberate a land most hadn’t seen before, for no other cause but freedom, democracy.” (Carlos Barria / REUTERS)

“You are the pride of our nation, you are the glory of our republic and we thank you from the bottom of our heart,” Trump said, of the “warriors” of an “epic battle”. In his speech, Macron praised the “unthinkable courage,” ‘’the generosity” and “the strength of spirit” that made them press on “to help men and women they didn’t know, to liberate a land most hadn’t seen before, for no other cause but freedom, democracy.” (Carlos Barria / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2019 11:30 AM IST
10 / 13
Bishop Jean-Claude Boulanger leads a ceremony at the Cathedral of Bayeux. Britain’s Prince Charles, his wife Camilla and Prime Minister Theresa May attended a service of remembrance at the medieval cathedral in Bayeux, the first Normandy town liberated by Allied troops after D-Day. Cardinal Marc Ouellet read a message from Pope Francis with a tribute for those who “gave their lives for freedom and peace.” (Bertrand Guay / AFP)

Bishop Jean-Claude Boulanger leads a ceremony at the Cathedral of Bayeux. Britain’s Prince Charles, his wife Camilla and Prime Minister Theresa May attended a service of remembrance at the medieval cathedral in Bayeux, the first Normandy town liberated by Allied troops after D-Day. Cardinal Marc Ouellet read a message from Pope Francis with a tribute for those who “gave their lives for freedom and peace.” (Bertrand Guay / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2019 11:30 AM IST
11 / 13
A spectator shakes the hand of a British veteran who is part of a procession leaving the Bayeux Cathedral. Gratitude was a powerful common theme. Up to 12,000 people gathered hours later at the ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery, where Macron and Trump spoke. US veterans, their numbers fast diminishing as years pass, were the guests of honour. (Francisco Seco / AP)

A spectator shakes the hand of a British veteran who is part of a procession leaving the Bayeux Cathedral. Gratitude was a powerful common theme. Up to 12,000 people gathered hours later at the ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery, where Macron and Trump spoke. US veterans, their numbers fast diminishing as years pass, were the guests of honour. (Francisco Seco / AP)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2019 11:30 AM IST
12 / 13
US veteran Tom Rice, 97 years-old who served with the 101st Airbone, lands during a commemorative parachute jump over Carentan on the Normandy coast from a a C-47 aircraft recreating his leap into the unknown where he first saw action in 1944. A group of five Americans parachuted on Wednesday wearing their jumpsuits, all World War II-era uniforms. (Pascal Rossignol / REUTERS)

US veteran Tom Rice, 97 years-old who served with the 101st Airbone, lands during a commemorative parachute jump over Carentan on the Normandy coast from a a C-47 aircraft recreating his leap into the unknown where he first saw action in 1944. A group of five Americans parachuted on Wednesday wearing their jumpsuits, all World War II-era uniforms. (Pascal Rossignol / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2019 11:30 AM IST
13 / 13
US veteran paratrooper Vincent Speranza speaks with a US soldier. American attendee Richard Clapp said it was sobering to admire the “beautiful sunrise” where Allied troops came ashore. Meanwhile, Norwegian Sigrid Flaata drove from Oslo in a 1942 restored jeep to honour the soldiers who died on D-Day and Belgian Filip Van Hecke called his journey a “small effort to pay homage.” (Bertrand Guay / AFP)

US veteran paratrooper Vincent Speranza speaks with a US soldier. American attendee Richard Clapp said it was sobering to admire the “beautiful sunrise” where Allied troops came ashore. Meanwhile, Norwegian Sigrid Flaata drove from Oslo in a 1942 restored jeep to honour the soldiers who died on D-Day and Belgian Filip Van Hecke called his journey a “small effort to pay homage.” (Bertrand Guay / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2019 11:30 AM IST
SHARE
Story Saved