D-Day 80th anniversary celebration of Normandy invasion

Scottish lament played as dawn breaks on Gold Beach

As dawn broke on Gold Beach in Maj. Trevor Macey-Lillie played the Scottish lament “Highland Laddie” on the bagpipes on Gold Beach in Normandy.

The time-honored tradition recreates the moment that thousands of British troops disembarked onto French beaches.

A Lone Piper Marks The 80th Anniversary Of D-Day In Normandy
Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

Macey-Lillie began in a landing craft utility before he was driven up the beach in a DUKW amphibious vehicle.

She was 14 when a U.S. pilot was shot down near her home. Now she’s keeping his memory alive.

Tony Brown and Meagan Fitzgerald

Reporting from SAINT-ELLIER-LES-BOIS, France

It’s almost 80-years on, but Marie Bastien said the memory of the American fighter plane being shot down near her village in northern France remains as vivid as ever.

“I still see it, as if it was yesterday,” Bastien, 94, told NBC News in French last month before widespread celebrations across France on June 6 for the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings. 

Bastien was just 14 when 1st Lt. Paul Chaufty’s fighter was shot out of the sky, but since then she has worked hard to keep his memory alive with her daughter Mireille and her wider network of friends and family. 

Her hard work paid off, and she recently stood alongside some of Chaufty’s American relatives while a plaque honoring his memory was unveiled in the village. 

Read the full story here.

Biden in Europe to commemorate the defeat of dictators


President Joe Biden left the campaign trail this week and flew to France for the 80th anniversary of D-Day, where he’ll give speeches touting American alliances that beat back dictatorships bent on world conquest.

Biden is in a long string of presidents who have delivered that sort of message over the years as they built and sustained a Western bloc rooted in free markets, democratic governance and individual freedoms.

As yet unknown is whether he’ll be the last.

Read the full story here.

The sun rises over Utah Beach as D-Day commemorations begin

As the sun sets on the D-Day generation, it's rising again over Normandy beaches where soldiers fought and died exactly 80 years ago, kicking off intense anniversary commemorations Thursday against the backdrop of renewed war in Europe, in Ukraine.
John Leicester / AP
World War II veterans from across the United States as well as Britain and Canada are in Normandy this week to mark 80 years since the D-Day landings that helped lead to Hitler's defeat.
Jeremias Gonzalez / AP

An American flag is unfurled, as a band of pipers play during an early morning ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day on Utah Beach, in Normandy, northwestern France today.

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