World Leaders Mark D-Day 70th Commemoration In Normandy, France

World Leaders Mark D-Day 70th Commemoration In Normandy, France

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NORMANDY, France – President Barack Obama was among the world leaders who traveled to France on Friday morning to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

After months of planning, forces from America, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and elsewhere stormed the beaches of Normandy. More than 4,400 Allied troops were killed on June 6, 1944, and many thousands followed in the ensuing three-month Battle of Normandy. Seventy years later, people around the world are taking time out to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the invasion of France.

In his morning speech, Obama focused on the legacy D-Day veterans left behind. He also mentioned that his grandfather served in the Army under Gen. George S. Patton, and that his grandmother was among many women who went to work to support the war effort.

And the president said Allies stood together in a common struggle for freedom.

"America's claim – our commitment to liberty, to equality, to freedom, to the inherent dignity of every human being – that claim is written in blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity," Obama said.

Obama and French President Francois Hollande laid a wreath at the American cemetery near Omaha Beach, where more than 9,000 Americans are buried. Obama met privately with World War II veterans as well as those who have served since the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks.

And Obama visited the Chateau de Benouville in Normandy, a landmark that played a crucial role in the French resistance to the Nazis. It offered a safe haven for many young men and women during the war.

Later, the president was scheduled to attend a lunch with other international leaders in attendance at Friday's ceremony.

It
's important to note that the international figures are gathered together in the midst of a current political crisis with Russia. Also expected to attend the lunch is Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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