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Veterans reenact Normandy landing on 78th anniversary of D-Day

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Posted at 6:56 AM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 06:56:34-04

NORMANDY, France — More than 20 British veterans of World War II gathered Sunday near Pegasus Bridge in Northwestern France to honor the troops who landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Nearly 160,000 troops from countries including Britain, the United States, and Canada took part in the Allied invasion.

Veterans, their families, and French and international visitors disregarded the rainy weather to take part in a series of events over the weekend and on Monday for the 78th anniversary of D-Day.

Monday's events included a full-scale reenactment of the Normandy invasion.

The men whose lives were lost were uppermost on the minds of many participants.

"The first thing we remember are the poor lads that didn't come back," said British veteran Peter Smoothy. "We were lucky. I'm 97 now, but we think about all those poor lads that didn't get off the beach that day. That was their last day. But they're always in our minds."

On that single day, more than 4,400 Allied soldiers lost their lives — 2,501 of them were Americans.

This year's D-Day commemorations came after two successive years of COVID pandemic-related restrictions.