World War II veterans stood in a unified, solemn salute at a ceremony in their honor at the old state Capitol to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
At Thursday's ceremony, a French diplomat presented veteran James Stevenson of Wilmington with the French Legion of Honor Award, thanking him for storming the beaches of Normandy. Another veteran, Cpl. Ralph Denson of Durham, received a Bronze Star for his fighting in numerous battles.
Some veterans got emotional at the event, which also recognized the 39 North Carolinians who died during the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.
Earlier Thursday, lawmakers passed a resolution to honor the living and dead who participated in the Allied invasion of France.