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COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) - Veterans of the 1944 Normandy landings gathered Thursday at the site of history's largest amphibious invasion for a day of ceremonies marking D-Day's 69th anniversary.
Around two dozen US vets, some in their old uniforms pinned with medals, stood and saluted during a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial overlooking Omaha Beach, where a U.S. cemetery holds the remains of over 9,000 Americans who died during the vicious battle to storm the French beach under withering Nazi fire.
Commemorations of the June, 6, 1944, battle began in respectful silence early Thursday morning, with the stars-and-stripes raised in a quiet ceremony at the cemetery.
Tourists, many from the U.S. and Britain, gathered under a brilliant spring sky to witness the flag-raising amid the neat rows of thousands of white marble crosses and stars of David marking the graves of U.S. servicemen and women fallen in the Allied invasion of Normandy.
On June 6, 1944, Allied forces led by General Dwight D. Eisenhower stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, on "D-Day," beginning the liberation of German-occupied Western Europe during World War II.
A full day of ceremonies - including fireworks, concerts and marches - was taking place across Normandy in honor of the more than 150,000 troops, mainly U.S., British and Canadian, who risked or gave their lives in the invasion.
"The tide has turned. The free men of the world are marching together to victory!" Eisenhower said in an historic address after the invasion was launched.
A St. Louis Alderman who had asked friends and supporters to help him pay for his daughter's college education is withdrawing the request.
Freeman Bosley Sr said he needs just over $14,000 to cover the cost of sending his daughter to St. Xavier University in Chicago. Bosley said he was not sure why the request was raising questions and he did not believe he did anything unethical.
Since the story broke, Bosley told the Post-Dispatch he would return all donations. The ethics commission has also said it is an odd request, but it does not seem to be illegal.
In an emotionally charged courtroom, Clay Waller told the judge he killed his wife Jacque Waller two years ago.
Now Waller is headed to prison to serve a 20 year sentence. As part of a plea deal, Waller told authorities where he buried his wife's body. He explained how he punched her in the face then strangled her to death.
Jacque's sister, Cheryl Brenneke, read a statement that saying she is unhappy with the sentence, but knows he will get "jailhouse justice". The judge accepted the deal and said Waller did not get what he deserved, but it will have to do.
Officials say he could serve as little as 85 percent of the sentence, but it is not likely.