COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Silent salutes, tears and displays of international friendship have marked the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in a ceremony on the beaches of Normandy.

French President Francois Hollande told the handful of surviving veterans in attendance, "Thank you for having been here in the summer of '44."

Earlier in the day, he joined President Barack Obama in paying tribute to U.S. soldiers buried at the Normandy American Cemetery, saying "long live the memory of those who fell here for our liberty."

Not many of the 150,000 Allied soldiers who stormed the beaches at Normandy or who parachuted into the region 70 years ago today are still alive. But some of the survivors stood alongside Obama and the French president as they paid tribute to history's biggest amphibious invasion.

Hollande said, "France will never forget what it owes these soldiers."

Obama -- speaking at a site he called "democracy's beachhead" -- said America's commitment to liberty, equality and freedom is "written in blood on these beaches."