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The sun rises on the beaches of Normandy to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day

Commemorations for the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings began Thursday with a military bagpiper playing a dirge at sea at the precise moment of the 1944 beach invasion of France.

At dawn, eighty years after Allied forces came ashore under gunfire on five code-named beaches in Normandy – Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword – the day of commemoration began.

D-Day 80th anniversaryD-Day 80th anniversary

People gather at Gold Beach in Arromanches in Normandy, France (Aaron Chown/PA)

D-Day 80th anniversaryD-Day 80th anniversary

Hundreds took to the beaches of Normandy on Thursday morning to celebrate the anniversary (Aaron Chown/PA)

D-Day 80th anniversaryD-Day 80th anniversary

Preparations in France started early on Thursday with reenactors riding to the coast on vintage bicycles (Aaron Chown/PA)

At Gold Beach in Arromanches, Major Trevor Macey-Lillie paid tribute to fallen veterans by playing Highland Laddie as he came ashore.

D-Day 80th anniversaryD-Day 80th anniversary

A military bagpiper comes ashore on a DUKW amphibious vehicle before playing a sunrise dirge on Gold Beach (Aaron Chown/PA)

D-Day 80th anniversaryD-Day 80th anniversary

A reenactor at Gold Beach to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings (Aaron Chown/PA)

D-Day 80th anniversaryD-Day 80th anniversary

Among those driving vintage vehicles on the beach was Nigel Farage, leader of Reform UK (Aaron Chown/PA).

D-Day 80th anniversaryD-Day 80th anniversary

A giant poppy is displayed at Gold Beach to commemorate the anniversary (Aaron Chown/PA)

D-Day 80th anniversaryD-Day 80th anniversary

Christophe Receveur of France unfurls an American flag he bought in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to mark D-Day (John Leicester/AP)

D-Day 80th anniversaryD-Day 80th anniversary

Reenactors are silhouetted against the sunrise on Utah Beach near Saint-Martin-de-Varreville in Normandy (Jeremias Gonzalez/AP)

D-Day 80th anniversaryD-Day 80th anniversary

A bagpipe band plays during a ceremony on Utah Beach to mark the American war effort (Jeremias Gonzalez/AP)

D-Day 80th anniversaryD-Day 80th anniversary

Planes fly over the beaches of Arromanches in Normandy (Aaron Chown/PA)

D-Day 80th anniversaryD-Day 80th anniversary

A house decorated with national flags of Britain, the US, Canada and France, near Gold Beach (Aaron Chown/PA)

D-Day 80th anniversaryD-Day 80th anniversary

The Royal Marines of 47 Commando begin coming ashore at Asnelles (Aaron Chown/PA)

D-Day 80th anniversaryD-Day 80th anniversary

The beach landing by the Royal Marines of 47 Commandos and civilians in Asnelles before their annual ‘yomp’ to Port-en-Bessin (Aaron Chown/PA)

D-Day 80th anniversaryD-Day 80th anniversary

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks at the British national commemoration event to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day, held at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer, Normandy (Jane Barlow/PA)

D-Day 80th anniversaryD-Day 80th anniversary

King Charles and Queen Camilla arrive at the British Normandy Memorial (Jane Barlow/PA)

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