More than 400 gather at World War II Memorial to reflect on D-Day

Spectators stand at attention for the color guard as a WWII Memorial Ceremony begins honoring the veterans of D-Day on the 71st anniversary of the massive landing and battle on the coast of France, on June, 6, 2015 in Washington. CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Bill O'Leary)

WASHINGTON — More than 400 people came midday Saturday to the National World War II Memorial for the 71st anniversary of D-Day, the massive landing and battle on the coast of France.

The ceremony included a traditional wreath-laying as well as comments from retired Army Lt. Gen. Mick Kicklighter and Elliott “Tobey” Roosevelt III, the great-grandson of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Among the veterans present were members of three honor flights — special flights that bring veterans to the D.C. memorials — as well as middle school students from Elk River, Minnesota.

Some 10,000 Allies were killed or wounded at D-Day, said Holly Rotondi, executive director of the Friends of the National World War II Memorial. Her group does five major events each year at the memorial.