British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron have joined D-Day veterans in northern France for a second day of events to mark the 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion.
A lone piper played to mark the moment when the first UK soldiers went ashore.
At an inauguration ceremony, Mrs May told veterans “thank you”, while Mr Macron said we owe them “our freedom”.
Macron and May were in Ver-sur-Mer to see the first stone laid for a memorial to commemorate the 22,442 British troops who died there in the summer of 1944.
Later on, Thursday, US President Donald Trump accompanied Macron at the US War Cemetery at Omaha Beach.
Donald Trump told US veterans they were “the pride of the nation”.
Macron and Trump had talks in the Caen town hall. In brief remarks to the press, the US president said the two leaders enjoyed an “outstanding relationship”.
On the subject of Iran, Macron said Paris and Washington shared the same objectives of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and should open talks with Tehran to ensure those objectives are fulfilled.
Hundreds of veterans have gathered in Normandy for the anniversary of the largest combined land, air and naval operation in history.
The French president also paid tribute to the UK prime minister, saying: “Leaders may come and go but their achievements remain. The force of our friendship will outlast current events.”
The day’s commemorations mark key events in the operation, which was aimed at bringing an end to World War II.
May will later join the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for a service in Bayeux – the first city in France to be liberated by the invasion.
That will be followed by a service at Bayeux War Cemetery, where many of the fallen were buried.
Other events taking place include:
- A veteran’s parade in Arromanches, followed by a Red Arrows flypast
- A service of remembrance and wreath laying at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire
- In Portsmouth, a veteran’s parade before a memorial service at the city’s D-Day Stone
- The Duke of Sussex will join the Chelsea Pensioners and six D-Day veterans for Founder’s Day at London’s Royal Hospital Chelsea
- In Edinburgh, 15 D-Day veterans will be presented with the Knight of the Légion d’Honneur Cross at the French Consulate
See also: A Quick Look: D-Day