Francois Hollande became the first French president to visit British war graves in Normandy on the 68th anniversary of D-Day .

Accompanied by the British defense secretary Philip Hammond, Hollande, who defeated Nicolas Sarkozy in the May presidential election, visited the Ranville Cemetery, which holds the graves of more than 2,500 British soldiers who died during the allied invasion of France’s northwestern beaches on June 6, 1944.

Most of those British servicemen were part of the famed 6th Airborne Division who were killed after landing on the beach by glider and parachute.

The cemetery also holds Canadian and German war dead.