OMAHA BEACH, France (AP) — With the silence of remembrance and respect, nations honored the memory of the fallen and the singular bravery of all Allied troops who sloshed through bloodied water to the landing beaches of Normandy, a tribute of thanks 75 years after the massive D-Day assault that doomed the Nazi occupation of France and portended the fall of Hitler’s Third Reich.

Thursday’s second day of ceremonies to mark the surprise Allied offensive by air and sea moved to France after spirited commemorations in Portsmouth, England, the main embarkation point for the transport boats that carried tens of thousands of soldiers to Normandy, each not knowing whether he would survive the day.

Leaders, veterans, their families and the grateful from France, Europe and elsewhere were present for the solemn day that began under a radiant sun.

At dawn, hundreds of people, civilians and military alike, hailing from around the world, gathered at the water’s edge, remembering the troops who stormed the fortified Normandy beaches to help turn the tide of the war and give birth to a new Europe.

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