June 2 - Final preparations in Normandy only a few days before world leaders and war veterans mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Final preparations are underway to mark 70th anniversary of the Normandy landing. Around one thousand veterans, mostly in their nineties, will gather here on June 6 where 19 world leaders will pay respect to them. Cousins Robert and John Eden are finding it hard to imagine how Sword Beach would have looked 70 years ago when their fathers launched themselves towards the enemy in the early hours of June 6, 1944. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH VISITOR ROBERT EDEN, SAYING: "It's poignant, it's quite a remarkable opportunity to come here, especially after 70 years. What is difficult of course is the fact that so much is going on, it's hard to get an appreciation of the beach itself." The D-Day assault won back control of France from German forces after four years of occupation. (SOUNDBITE) (French) LOCAL RESIDENT CHRISTIAN LECANU, SAYING: "It's a major event this year for Normandy. It's is the 70th anniversary so the guys would have been 18 or 20 years old so it is probably the last decennial with veterans present so it is of a particular importance because of the veterans." The British Royal family, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin are expected at the commemorations.