PARIS (AP) — France is preparing to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. This gallery of aerial photos includes views of the Pointe du Hoc, an imposing 100-foot (330-foot) cliff on the Normandy coast overlooking Omaha Beach.
U.S. Army Rangers scaled the cliff at high cost of life in order to seize German artillery pieces that could have fired on American landing troops at Omaha and Utah beaches. The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial contains the graves of 9,387 Americans, most of whom were killed in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. An official ceremony marking the anniversary will bring together heads of state from the major combatant nations on June 6 at Sword Beach. Dozens of other commemorations and events are being planned across Normandy to mark the anniversary, including concerts, films, fireworks displays and parachute drops.