D-Day veterans are "among the very greatest Americans who will ever live," President Trump said Thursday at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the day thousands of American, British, and Canadian troops stormed the beaches of Normandy to begin the invasion of Nazi-occupied France. "Their mission is the story of an epic battle and the ferocious eternal struggle between good and evil," Trump told an audience that included American veterans at the Normandy American Cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer, near Omaha Beach. He paid tribute to British and Canadian troops—along with "gallant French commandos" and the "fighting Poles, the tough Norwegians, and the intrepid Aussies"—as well as the Americans who "won a future for our nation," the Guardian reports.
In Ver-sur-Mer, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May attended a ceremony to inaugurate a memorial to British soldiers, the BBC reports. "They laid down their lives so that we might have a better life and build a better world," May said in one of her final engagements as prime minister. At the start of the day's events, a lone piper played at Gold Beach at the exact moment British troops first landed 75 years ago. Former paratrooper Tom Rice, meanwhile, shouted "Woo-hoo!" after hitting the ground in the same area of Normandy he parachuted into 75 years ago, the AP reports. "I represent a whole generation," said the 97-year-old American, who was among around 200 parachutists making the jump to commemorate D-Day paratroopers. (A 90-year-old veteran's song hit the top of the charts this week.)