Today, June 6, is the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in which 155,000 allied troops invaded 50 miles of heavily defended beach to free Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II. During the day today, take a moment to pause to remember the sacrifices of those brave men that day.
The invasion of Normandy marked the beginning of the end of the Nazi regime; a regime which was responsible for almost unbelievable acts of cruelty in massacres of civilians and in the notorious extermination and slave labor camps across Germany occupied Poland, and beyond. The Nazi regime resented one of the greatest threats to peace and freedom in history. The D-Day invasion claimed the lives of 2,499 Americans. 1,914 soldiers from our allied nations also paid the ultimate price that day.
President Donald J. Trump (R) and first lady Melania Trump are in Europe meeting with world leaders to mark the anniversary. The President met with Queen Elizabeth, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and hosted a dinner for Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall Camilla Parker Bowles Tuesday night at Winfield House, the mansion in London which is the official residence of the United States ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Earlier on Tuesday, President Trump and Lady Melania toured the Churchill War Rooms with Prime Minister May and her husband.
President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron will attend ceremonies with other world leaders on the beaches of Normandy, where 75 years ago Allied troops landed to push Nazi forces out of France.
The leaders seek to show unity as they meet for a second day to salute the heroism of those soldiers 75 years ago; but tensions hang over the event.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was not invited to the gathering of world leaders.
A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman credited the Soviet Union with the defeat of Nazi Germany and stressed the importance of not over exaggerating the importance of D-Day.
Macron and Trump will hold private talks and a working lunch after a ceremony at the U.S. military cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer.
The site overlooking Omaha Beach holds 9,400 graves, which is only 40 percent of the American forces killed during the weeks of fighting that followed the D-Day landings.
Macron will bestow the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honour, on five American veterans.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will attend a ceremony at Juno Beach, where Canadian forces led the assault.
(Original reporting by Fox News, NBC News, and AFP contributed to this report.)