France - United States

Thousands of scouts celebrate Normandy D-Day landings

An aerial view shows the World War II Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville sur Mer above Omaha Beach
An aerial view shows the World War II Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville sur Mer above Omaha Beach Reuters/Christian Hartmann

Several thousand scouts on Saturday celebrated 70 years of peace in Europe at Omaha Beach, one of the beaches where Allied troops landed in northern France during World War II. The event was one of a number of commemorations of the D-Day landings in 1944.

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Up to 3,500 people attended the gathering on the Normandy coast, police said.

About 2,000 of them were scouts, mainly from the United States and Europe.

Organised by the Transatlantic Council Boy Scouts of America and Normandy body Planete Bleue... SOS the ceremony included the projection of archived images on two huge screens, accompanied by music from the University Choir of
Lower Normandy.

Three French jets flew over Omaha Beach and the fast patrol boat, the Broadsword, of the Cherbourg maritime police made a sweep in front of the crowds to commemorate the "many young Americans who sacrificed their lives", in the organisers's words.

The gathering was the seventh organised by the Transatlantic Council Boys Scouts of America in Lower Normandy since 1994.
 

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