U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute Friday to the U.S. servicemembers who "defied every danger" to pour onto the beaches of Normandy 70 years ago in defense of liberty.
His remarks at the American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, which overlooks Omaha Beach where so many fell, are part of a series of solemn events to commemorate the D-Day landings in northern France.
Obama, who arrived with French President Francois Hollande, shook hands with elderly veterans before the presentation of colors and playing of the two countries' national anthems.
Obama said he was honored to be there "to pay tribute to the men and women of a generation who defied every danger: among them, our veterans of D-Day."
Lengthy applause rang out as the U.S. President said he was humbled by the presence of some of those veterans at the ceremony.
"Here, we don't just commemorate victory, as proud of that victory as we are; we don't just honor sacrifice, as grateful as the world is; we come to remember why America and our allies gave so much for the survival of liberty at this moment of maximum peril," Obama said.