Thousands of scouts celebrate 70 years of peace in Europe
US and European boy scouts gather near Omaha Beach on April 26, 2014 in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer - by Charly Triballeau
Up to 3,500 people attended the gathering, police said, including around 2,000 scouts hailing mainly from the United States and Europe.
"Scouts have a function in society of helping and serving others. And there, we have proof of our role in society and we thank those who, 70 years ago, gave their lives to liberate us," said French scout Gabrielle Steiblen.
"I mean, it's a great experience to know each other, that's what I think about this place," added American scout Dominic Mason.
Organised by the Transatlantic Council Boy Scouts of America and Normandy body "Planete Bleue... SOS," the ceremony included the projection of archived images on two huge screens, accompanied by music from the University Choir of Lower Normandy.
Three French jets flew over Omaha Beach and the fast patrol boat, "the Broadsword", of the Cherbourg maritime police made a sweep in front of the crowds to commemorate the "many young Americans who sacrificed their lives", the organisers said.
The gathering was the seventh organised by the Transatlantic Council Boys Scouts of America in Lower Normandy since 1994.