Sen. Kerry visits Normandy for D-Day anniversary

By STAFF | June 6, 2011 | 6:14 AM EDT

D Day survivor U.S. veteran John Primerano, 101st AB walks with unidentified students of the Ozarks College of Missouri, at the American cemetery of Colleville sur Mer, western France, Sunday, June 5, 2011 at the eve of the 65th D-Day Anniversary. (AP Photo/Vincent Michel)

CRICQUEVILLE-EN-BESSIN, France (AP) — World War II veterans and Sen. John Kerry are commemorating the D-Day landings in Normandy at an iconic and eroding cliff.

The visit is one of several events along the coast Monday marking 67 years since Allied forces landed on a swath of beaches in Nazi-occupied France. The June, 6, 1944, invasion and ensuing battle for Normandy helped change the course of the war.

Kerry and the veterans are visiting Pointe du Hoc, where elite U.S. Rangers scaled jagged cliffs in one of the most trying missions of the invasion.

The limestone and clay cliffs have eroded by 10 meters (33 feet) since D-Day. Pointe du Hoc reopened to the public in March after extensive restoration efforts, organized by the American Battle Monuments Commission. Some half a million people visit the site each year.