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SALUTE FOR OUR HEROES; Obama leads tributes in Normandy: D-DAY HEROES HONOURED IN FRANCE.

Byline: EUAN HAMILTON

PRESIDENT Obama led the salute to DDay's fallen heroes yesterday.

He was joined by Gordon Brown and Prince Charles at ceremonies on the Normandy beaches where Allied soldiers stormed ashore on the Longest Day 65 years ago to begin the fightback against the Nazis.

Barack Obama and Gordon Brown both spoke at Colleville cemetery to an audience including French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Canadian PM Stephen Harper.

Around 9000 American troops are buried there, close to the beach codenamed Omaha where they died. Oscar-winner Tom Hanks, who recreated the events at Omaha in the film Saving Private Ryan, was also a guest at the ceremony.

Obama paid tribute to the soldiers who fought at Omaha and the other invasion beaches, Utah, Juno, Gold and Sword - "against all odds". He said: "They were American, British and Canadian.

"The sheer improbability of this victory is part of what makes D-Day so memorable."

Brown added: "On that June morning the young of our nations stepped out on those beaches and into history. As long as freedom lives their debts will never die."

Earlier, Brown and Prince Charles laid wreaths inside Bayeux Cathedral at an emotioncharged Royal British Legion service attended by veterans.

President Obama's grandfather and great uncle - Stanley and Ralph Dunham - both arrived in France as young soldiers through Omaha, though not on D-Day itself.

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CAPTION(S):

Tearful: Emotions still run strong for this old soldier at British Cemetery in Bayeux Honouring the fallen: Obama, Prince Charles, Brown, Canadian PM Harper and President Sarkozy at Colleville yesterday Then and now: Troops on the beach in 1944 and Tom Hanks with a US veteran yesterday
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 7, 2009
Words:281
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