Donald Trump paid tribute to the thousands of people who fought in the D-Day landings 75 years ago, together with Queen Elizabeth, who honored the “resilient wartime generation.”
Royalty, world leaders, and over 300 veterans came together to honor and celebrate the heroes who fought for their nation 75 years ago. The special event was witnessed by President Donald Trump, who sat next to the Queen on Wednesday.
HONORING THE HEROES
Theresa May, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, and Angela Merkel were among the politicians who listened to Sergeant John Jenkins, a 99-year-old veteran’s, anecdote of what happened when he landed on Gold Beach on June 8.
“I was 23 years old when I landed on Gold Beach. I was terrified; I think everyone was. I was just a small part in a very big machine. You never forget your comrades because we were all in it together,” the former Pioneer Corps said.
The Queen listened attentively, and later gave a speech that paid homage to the “resilient wartime generation” which she referred to as “my generation.” She said:
“75 years ago, hundreds of thousands of young soldiers, sailors, and airmen left these shores in the cause of freedom. Many of them would never return, and the heroism, courage, and sacrifice of those who lost their lives will never be forgotten. It is with humility and pleasure, on behalf of the entire country - indeed the whole free world - that I say to you all, thank you.”
EXCERPTS OF A PRAYER
Trump also played a role in the big event, reading aloud an excerpt of a prayer which Franklin D. Roosevelt aired on the evening of the D-Day landing. Trump read:
“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.”
The president was also given a chance to meet the veterans from Normandy, along with the first lady, her Majesty, and Prince Charles.
The D-Day landing is dubbed as the most massive invasion by sea in history which marked the beginning of the fight for German-occupied France. Operation OVERLORD was used as a codename for the attack, which took place on June 6.
British, American, and Canadian troops came on five different beaches on the Normandy coastline to defeat Nazi Germany during the Second World War. In a week, 325,000 allied soldiers entered; by the end of the month, 850,000 flocked to Normandy.
By August 25, the troops succeeded in their mission and Paris was liberated. However, 200,000 casualties were counted during the invasion.
END OF THE THREE-DAY STATE VISIT
The D-Day celebration concluded President Donald Trump’s three-day state visit in the U.K. He said his farewell to the Queen and thanked her for the warm welcome.
“It was a great honor to be with you,” he said. “I hope you come to this country again,” she replied.
The Queen hosted a lavish state dinner on Monday evening in the ballroom of the Buckingham Palace. Her chef’s prepared a scrumptious meal for the guests, including lamb, halibut with watercress mousse, strawberry sable with lemon verbena cream, fresh fruits, and coffee.