BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The nation’s oldest commissioned warship and the Massachusetts National Guard teamed up to salute the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

They honored Allied forces who landed on the Normandy coast on June 6, 1944, in an offensive that ultimately liberated France and defeated Germany in World War II.

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The USS Constitution, which dates to 1797, left its berth in Boston’s Charlestown Navy Yard on Friday and sailed to Castle Island to fire a 21-gun cannon salute to Fort Independence.

The National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment fired ceremonial cannons in return.

The Constitution also fired a 17-gun salute near the U.S. Coast Guard Base prior to returning to Charlestown.

They’ll be continuing a custom dating to 1797, when the new USS Constitution saluted the fort, which had transferred that year from the state to U.S. government service.

Veterans honored at Natick ceremony

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At the World War II Museum in Natick, the consul general from France, Fabien Fieschi, awarded the French Legion of Honor to 10 New England D-Day veterans.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

“France recognizes the tremendous sacrifice and courage that went into its liberation,” Fieschi said.

Albert Berard, 89, of Taunton, remembered that day 70 years ago in Normandy when he was 19. “That day changed my whole life,” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens.

“I don’t talk about the gory details. People wouldn’t believe you anyways.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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