On sad anniversary, few to mourn the D-Day dead in Normandy

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US troops disembarking at Omaha beach on D-Day, June 6th, 1944. (Photo: MGN)

SAINT-LAURENT-SUR-MER, France (AP) — This year’s anniversary observances for the June 6, 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy will be one of the loneliest remembrances ever.

The coronavirus pandemic is keeping almost everyone away, from government leaders to frail veterans who might not get another chance to give their unlucky comrades a final farewell. Even Saturday’s weather forecast is bad.

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Heading into the remembrance weekend, the shrieks of seagulls above France’s Omaha Beach pierce the ears and a sense of desolation hangs across the region’s country roads.

A 95-year-old U.S. Army veteran who lives near Omaha Beach and was in the first wave of soldiers to wade ashore burned white sage into the winds to honor his comrades.