Veterans and Normandy residents are paying tribute to the thousands who gave their lives in the D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied France 70 years ago.

As the sun rose Friday over Omaha Beach, flags flew at half-staff. Hundreds of people gathered to remember the largest amphibious invasion in history, on June 6, 1944.

Veterans joined soldiers serving in the U.S. 29th Infantry Division, standing at attention in dress uniforms on the beach. A military band stood nearby, as a strong wind blew.

World leaders and dignitaries including President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II will gather to honor the more than 150,000 American, British, Canadian and other Allied D-Day troops who risked and gave their lives to defeat Adolf Hitler's Third Reich.