Some D-Day veterans from Montana are at Normandy observances. It's estimated Montana is home to 12 to 15, and possibly as many as 20 surviving D-Day veterans.

Laurence Markarian is a native of France. She is honorary counsel for the state of Montana.

Markarian helped organize D-Day veterans' trips from Montana to France.

She said in France, in Normandy especially, this is a day everyone remembers.

"They knew that France was being liberated," said the counsel, "and they become very tearful when they talk about it."

Markarian works to find WWII veterans from Montana who may be eligible for France's highest military honor, the Medal of Legion of Honor.

So far six Montana veterans have been given the award.

Laurence grew up appreciating the invasion that opened doors to free her home country.

"All these vets who have risked their lives," she said, "and all those who have lost their lives, it's very touching, very emotional."

At the Valley Veterans Service Center in Hamilton, vets observed D-Day with hot dogs and good conversation.

It's a day that reminds a young Air Force veteran of his great grandfather, who was a Navy veteran in WWII.

"He did not serve in Normandy," said Cass Patterson. "But today I recognize his sacrifice along with all the other veterans who did serve during the invasion of Normandy."

It's may be a day to remind people of all service men and women who have made sacrifices.