May 6 - French authorities prepare to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-day landings which marked the start of the defeat of Germany's Nazi regime in WWII. Elly Park reports.
June 6, 1944 - D-Day. Some 133,000 soldiers of the allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, to turn the tide of the war that killed millions. Today these beaches still bear the scars of the sheer violence that erupted on that fateful day, that lie in a distant past for most. But it's still fresh in the memories of Leon Gautier, one of the 3,000 liberators who will be honored at the 70th anniversary ceremony next month. Beatrix Mourer is in charge of the commemoration show. SOUNDBITE: Official Commemoration Ceremony Organiser Beatrix Mourer, saying (French) "What is important for us is to facilitate the duty of remembrance, the transmission of memory because it is probably the last big commemoration where we will have the pleasure to welcome the veterans. So we will pay homage to them and help transmit the memory to the younger generations and the world in general." Indeed, most of the World War II veterans still alive are now in their early 90's. So French authorities are preparing a big decennial event that will be attend by 17 world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama and the British Royal family. They will be joined by around 8 million visitors expected to be in Normandy on June 6 to honor the thousands who gave their lives on that day 70 years ago.