SAINT-BRIAC-SUR-MER, France (AP) — John Kerry is commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day with a personal touch.

The U.S. secretary of state is Saint Briac — the small French town that’s home to his family’s ancestral estate.

During the liberation of the town in August 1944, three U.S. soldiers were killed. A monument to the Americans overlooks the harbor, and Kerry placed a wreath at the site on Saturday.

Later, in a speech at the town hall, Kerry paid tribute to the soldiers and to the people of Saint Briac. He credited them with helping to save heirlooms from his mother’s family’s estate. The Nazis had turned it into their local headquarters during the occupation.

On Friday, Kerry attended ceremonies to mark the allied invasion of France in Normandy.

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