U.S. Soldiers Back in Normandy on D-Day Anniversary

By CBS News

Published 06/06 2014 08:04AM

Updated 06/06 2014 08:28AM

NORMANDY, France -- Today marks the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, when Americans and their allies landed in Normandy to help liberate France from Nazi Germany.  A number of D-Day ceremonies are underway in Normandy.

A small group of U.S. veterans gathered for a sunrise ceremony on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France on the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
"I'm so filled with joy right now, I can hardly control myself," says Donald McCarthy, a veteran of D-Day.

Hundreds of veterans are among the  large crowd at the American Cemetery for a memorial today.
The once battleground is now sacred ground where thousands of U.S. soldiers were killed.

President Obama and the President of France are also honoring the more than 150,000 troops who landed in this region, back in 1944.

Most had to fight through the rough waters of the English Channel, to reach the beaches-where many lives were lost but where world war two was won.
"If prayer were made of sound, the skies over England that night would have deafened the world," President Obama said.

This quiet coastline along omaha beach is a stark contrast to the bloody battle that unfolded here 70 years ago

The French are reminded of that history everywhere they turn in Normandy. 

There are life-like displays…. monuments with messages of freedom along with pictures, symbols and tributes to the fallen.
93 year old Veteran Melvin Buschman says this will likely be his last trip to Normandy and his last chance to pass along stories from the deadliest war in history.
"I think it's great that they're doing it and I think they're going to do it forever," says Melvin Buschman, a WWII veteran.

World leaders including Britain's Queen Elizabeth are in Normandy to honor the British, American and Canadian forces who fought on D-Day

(Jericka Duncan CBS News)

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