D-Day remembrances begin in Britain
by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 6/05/19, 12:26 pm
World leaders and World War II veterans gathered in Portsmouth, England, Wednesday to honor the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Queen Elizabeth II presided over the event, the first of two days of anniversary commemorations, which included flyovers, dancers, and military bands. More than 150,000 Allied troops in 7,000 boats stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944. Codenamed “Operation Overlord,” the invasion began the liberation of France and led directly to the defeat of Nazi Germany in May 1945.
U.S. President Donald Trump attended Wednesday’s ceremony and read a prayer that President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered in a national radio address on D-Day: “Almighty God, our sons, pride of our nation, this day, have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic, our religion, and our civilization and to set free a suffering humanity.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May read a letter from Capt. Norman Skinner, a British officer, to his wife just three days before D-Day. He was killed the day after the invasion. “Although I would give anything to be back with you, I have not yet had any wish at all to back down from the job we have to do,” Skinner wrote.
The event ended with a rendition of the 1939 wartime song “We’ll Meet Again,” with the veterans in attendance singing along. On Thursday, leaders and veterans will attend ceremonies in France at the military cemeteries near the beaches of Normandy. Three hundred British veterans will cross the English Channel from Britain to France, just as they did 75 years ago.
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Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.