World News

France prepares to express gratitude to World War II veterans on the 80th anniversary of D-day

PARIS—France is preparing to express its gratitude to World War II veterans returning to Normandy beaches for the 80th anniversary commemorations of D-Day. The event will mark the defeat of the Nazis and will include a ceremony at Omaha Beach with many expected heads of state honoring the almost 160,000 troops from Britain, the U.S., Canada, and other nations who landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that D-Day celebrations, alongside the Paris Olympics, will be “France’s rendezvous with the world.” It will serve as an opportunity for the French to say “merci” or “thank you” to veterans, many of whom are making a strenuous trans-Atlantic journey despite their advanced age, fatigue, and physical difficulties.

Philippe Étienne, chairman of the Liberation Mission, emphasized the need to remember and express gratitude to the elderly veterans: “We will never forget. And we have to tell them.”

Mr. Étienne recalled the emotional experience of awarding the Legion of Honor to veterans as a former ambassador of France to the United States.

Related Stories

“They were 18, 20, 22 when they liberated our country, when they gave us back our freedom,” he said. “Now 80 years later, they’re 100, 98, 102. It’s really incredible. Those are really courageous, humble people. They must feel our gratitude.”

Mr. Étienne also emphasized the importance of sharing the veterans’ testimonies with younger generations as the anniversaries approach.

A World War II reenactor plants roses on Omaha Beach in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, on June 6, 2023. (Thomas Padilla/AP Photo)
A World War II reenactor plants roses on Omaha Beach in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, on June 6, 2023. (Thomas Padilla/AP Photo)

Gen. Michel Delion, director-general of the Liberation Mission, stressed the importance of understanding the price of liberty for all citizens of democratic nations.

He added that civilians played a significant role in World War II and that the cohesion of nations and populations is crucial in facing current and future challenges.

Mr. Étienne emphasized the need to recognize the sacrifices made by everyone involved in the liberation of Europe, including populations from the former Soviet Union.

The article explains the impact of other key events and commemorations planned in France to honor resistance fighters, soldiers from the colonial empire in Africa, and civilians who suffered during the war.

Fabien Sudry, deputy director-general of the Liberation Mission, noted the strong mobilization across France to remember this significant period in history and mentioned plans for a nationwide operation to collect historical materials related to World War II.

Source link


I'm TruthUSA, the author behind TruthUSA News Hub located at With our One Story at a Time," my aim is to provide you with unbiased and comprehensive news coverage. I dive deep into the latest happenings in the US and global events, and bring you objective stories sourced from reputable sources. My goal is to keep you informed and enlightened, ensuring you have access to the truth. Stay tuned to TruthUSA News Hub to discover the reality behind the headlines and gain a well-rounded perspective on the world.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.