US and French flags and a flower are placed on the

David Vincent, AP

Shelby Fleig, USA TODAY, Wednesday marked the 74th anniversary of World War II’s D-Day: the largest invasion by air, land and sea in history. More than 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes and 150,000 soldiers from the U.S., Britain and Canada stormed the Nazi-occupied French beaches of Normandy in a deadly surprise attack in World War II.

Large events are planned for 2019 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the invasion. This year, smaller celebrations are being held around the U.S. and France, including at the Normandy beaches and cliffs where the battles took place. The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., was holding a day-long remembrance.

World War II enthusiasts sit on a tank during a parade

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CHARLY TRIBALLEAU, AFP/Getty Images
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