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WW II U.S. veterans salute during the national anthems at a ceremony held at the Memorial of the Colleville American military cemetery, in Colleville sur Mer, western France, Thursday June 6, 2013, on the day of the commemoration of the 69th anniversary of the 1945 D-Day landings. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
WW II U.S. veterans salute during the national anthems at a ceremony held at the Memorial of the Colleville American military cemetery, in Colleville sur Mer, western France, Thursday June 6, 2013, on the day of the commemoration of the 69th anniversary of the 1945 D-Day landings. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

D-Day's 69th anniversary commemorations begin in France

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news Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France — Commemorations of the 69th annniversary of D-Day have begun with the stars-and-stripes being raised in a quiet ceremony at the American cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach.

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Tourists, many from the U.S. and Britain, gathered in the still morning under a brilliant spring sky to witness the flag-raising amid the neat rows of thousands of white marble crosses and stars of David marking the graves of U.S. servicemen and women fallen in the Allied invasion of Normandy that began June 6, 1944.

A full day of ceremonies including fireworks, concerts and marches is planned across Normandy Thursday in honor of the 150,000 troops, mainly US, British and Canadian, who risked or gave their lives in the liberation of German-occupied western Europe during World War II.

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