UPDATED: Macron and May say ‘thank you’ to D-Day veterans… “we owe you our freedom”

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British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron have joined D-Day veterans in northern France for a second day of events to mark the 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion.

 

A lone piper played to mark the moment when the first UK soldiers went ashore.

75th anniversary of the Allied landings on D-Day
A handout picture provided by the British Ministry of Defence showing Trevor Macey-Lillie the Piper Major from 19th Regiment Royal Artillery began the D-Day commemorations on Mulberry harbours in Arromanches-les-Bains Normandy, France, 06 June 2019. EPA-EFE/CPL ROBERT WEIDEMAN /MOD/CROWN COPYRIGHT

At an inauguration ceremony, Mrs May told veterans “thank you”, while Mr Macron said we owe them “our freedom”.

Macron and May were in Ver-sur-Mer to see the first stone laid for a memorial to commemorate the 22,442 British troops who died there in the summer of 1944.

75th anniversary of the Allied landings on D-Day
History enthusiasts drive a Willy’s jeep in Omaha Beach, France. Photo: EPA-EFE/SEBASTIEN NOGIER

Later on, Thursday, US President Donald Trump accompanied Macron at the US War Cemetery at Omaha Beach.

75th anniversary of the Allied landings on D-Day
US President Donald Trump (C-L), US First Lady Melania Trump (L), French President Emmanuel Macron (C-R) and his wife Brigitte Macron (R) observe a flypast during the French – USA Commemoration marking the 75th anniversary of the Allied landings on D-Day at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, 06 June 2019. Photo: EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON / POOL

Donald Trump told US veterans they were “the pride of the nation”.

75th anniversary of the Allied landings on D-Day
US President Donald Trump (CL), US First Lady Melania Trump (L), French President Emmanuel Macron (CR) and his wife Brigitte Macron (R) react during the French – USA Commemoration marking the 75th anniversary of the Allied landings on D-Day at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, 06 June 2019. Photo: EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON / POOL

Macron and Trump had talks in the Caen town hall. In brief remarks to the press, the US president said the two leaders enjoyed an “outstanding relationship”.

On the subject of Iran, Macron said Paris and Washington shared the same objectives of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and should open talks with Tehran to ensure those objectives are fulfilled.

Hundreds of veterans have gathered in Normandy for the anniversary of the largest combined land, air and naval operation in history.

The French president also paid tribute to the UK prime minister, saying: “Leaders may come and go but their achievements remain. The force of our friendship will outlast current events.”

75th anniversary of the Allied landings on D-Day
Children stand next to a board with pictures of war victims as French President Emmanuel Macron (not pictured) attends a ceremony at the Caen prison to pay tribute to French resistants, as part of D-Day ceremonies in Caen, France, 05 June 2019. On 05 June 1944, the Germans have shot 80-85 members of Resistance at the prison of Caen, including 71 who have been identified. Photo: EPA-EFE/FRANCOIS MORI / POOL

The day’s commemorations mark key events in the operation, which was aimed at bringing an end to World War II.

May will later join the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for a service in Bayeux – the first city in France to be liberated by the invasion.

That will be followed by a service at Bayeux War Cemetery, where many of the fallen were buried.

75th anniversary of the Allied landings on D-Day
US flags and roses are seen at the Omaha Beach in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, Photo: EPA-EFE/SEBASTIEN NOGIER

Other events taking place include:

  • A veteran’s parade in Arromanches, followed by a Red Arrows flypast
  • A service of remembrance and wreath laying at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire
  • In Portsmouth, a veteran’s parade before a memorial service at the city’s D-Day Stone
  • The Duke of Sussex will join the Chelsea Pensioners and six D-Day veterans for Founder’s Day at London’s Royal Hospital Chelsea
  • In Edinburgh, 15 D-Day veterans will be presented with the Knight of the Légion d’Honneur Cross at the French Consulate

 

 

75th anniversary of the Allied landings on D-Day

See also: A Quick Look: D-Day

 

Via BBC

 

 

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