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Pandemic makes for a lonely D-Day observance in Normandy

A man in a vintage US WWII uniform walks at sunrise prior to a D-Day 76th anniversary ceremony in Saint Laurent sur Mer, Normandy, France, Saturday, June 6, 2020. Due to coronavirus measures many ceremonies and memorials have been cancelled in the region with the exception of very small gatherings. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
A man in a vintage US WWII uniform walks at sunrise prior to a D-Day 76th anniversary ceremony in Saint Laurent sur Mer, Normandy, France, Saturday, June 6, 2020. Due to coronavirus measures many ceremonies and memorials have been cancelled in the region with the exception of very small gatherings. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)(Virginia Mayo | AP)
Published: Jun. 6, 2020 at 3:28 PM CDT
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COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — This year’s D-Day anniversary in Normandy has turned out to be one of the loneliest observances ever.

The coronavirus pandemic and its lockdowns left the famous Omaha Beach landing strip largely deserted. Lone U.S. veteran Charles Shay mourned not only the deaths of his comrades 76 years ago, but also that he would not see any fellow veterans of the historic battle.

Still the French would not let this day slip by unnoticed. The moment the sun broke over the ocean on Saturday, the Omaha Beach theme from the film “Saving Private Ryan” blared across the sand for a few dozen locals and visitors.

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