D-Day 75: Nations honor veterans, memory of fallen troops
With the silence of remembrance and respect, nations honored the memory of the fallen and the singular bravery of all Allied troops who sloshed through bloodied water to the landing beaches of Normandy, a tribute of thanks 75 years after the massive D-Day assault that doomed the Nazi occupation of France and portended the fall of Hitler’s Third Reich.
Thursday’s second day of ceremonies to mark the surprise Allied offensive by air and sea moved to France after spirited commemorations in Portsmouth, England, the main embarkation point for the transport boats that carried tens of thousands of soldiers to Normandy, each not knowing whether he would survive the day.
Leaders, veterans, their families and the grateful from France, Europe and elsewhere were present for the solemn day that began under a radiant sun.
At dawn, hundreds of people, civilians and military alike, hailing from around the world, gathered at the water’s edge, remembering the troops who stormed the fortified Normandy beaches to help turn the tide of the war and give birth to a new Europe.
Dick Jansen, 60, from the Netherlands, drank Canadian whisky from an enamel cup on the water’s edge. Others scattered carnations into the waves. Randall Atanay, a medic’s son who tended the dying and injured, waded barefoot into the water near Omaha Beach — the first of five code-named beaches where the waters ran red the morning of June 6, 1944.
6th June 2019