A ceremony to honor the sacrifice of those who lost their lives in the D-Day landings in 1944 was held on Omaha Beach in Saint-Laurent-Sur-Mer in France Saturday.
Due to the coronavirus restrictions, the commemoration was much smaller than previous annual events, when tens of thousands or people congregated on the northern French beaches of Normandy.
France, however, would not let the day pass unnoticed, Philippe Laillier, mayor of the city said, where he led the ceremony around the Omaha Beach monument.
"We couldn't imagine doing nothing! So yes, we figured that there would be people on the beach this morning even if nothing was organized - we knew because it's a ritual and when we say we won't forget, we mean it, we don't forget," said Philippe Laillier, Mayor of Saint-Laurent-Sur-Mer. "Last night, I exchanged with Americans who couldn't be here, and with us - in thoughts. Whatever happens, on June 6th in Normandy, we can't forget."A bigger and more flamboyant event would have posed a threat to the surviving D-Day veterans, most of whom are now in their late nineties, or to other elderly persons who had participated in previous years ceremonies.
French soldiers jointed some 160,000 of their counterparts from the United States, Britain, Canada and other countries who landed on the beaches on June 6, 1944 and continued the fight to force the Nazis to surrender almost one year later.