Parachutists recreate D-Day jump as Queen praises 'resilient' generation
Parachutists recreate D-Day jump as Queen praises 'resilient' generation
Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, world leaders, World War II veterans gather to mark D-Day anniversary in England’s Portsmouth
06 June, 2019, 14:10
Parachutists landed on the Normandy beaches 75 years to the day when they took part in the D-Day landings to liberate France and the rest of Europe.
'This is where young men, many of whom had never set foot on French soil, landed at dawn under German fire, risking their lives while fighting their way up the beach, which was littered with obstacles and mines'.
Trump read a prayer that President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered in a radio address June 6, 1944, extolling the "mighty endeavor" Allied troops were engaged in.
It remains the largest amphibious assault in history, and left 4,400 troops dead on the first day.
The Prime Minister read the names of several British troops who were killed during the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy.
"Over the last 75 years, our nations have stood up for peace in Europe and globally, for democracy, tolerance and the rule of law", it said. "On these shores, on these bluffs, on this day 75 years ago, 10,000 men shed their blood - and thousands sacrificed their lives - for their brothers, for their countries, and for the survival of liberty".
They reaffirmed their commitment to "shared values" and vowed to work together to defend freedoms "whenever they are threatened".
The statement committed to resolving worldwide tensions peacefully.
Across the Channel, a service of remembrance and wreath laying takes place at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire and in Portsmouth a veteran's parade will take place before a memorial service at the city's D-Day Stone.
The commemoration event marks the first time the United Kingdom has hosted so many world leaders outside a formal summit since the 2012 Olympics.
Also attending were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as leaders from Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Poland and Slovakia.
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An hour-long performance told the story of D-Day and the planning by allied forces that paved the way for the invasion of Normandy.
Some 4,000 military personnel, 26 British military aircraft and 11 British naval vessels will participate.
The Queen was joined by the Prince of Wales at the commemorative event at Southsea, Portsmouth. "They must never be forgotten". Skinner died with the letter in his pocket.
After a reception with veterans, world leaders met to discuss the western alliance and security.
To the veterans, she said "the only words we can - thank you".
The D-Day commemorations are among May's last official duties before she steps down as leader of the governing Conservatives on Friday over her failure to get Britain out of the European Union on time. That will trigger a leadership contest.
She will remain as prime minister until her successor is chosen in late July. "I want France to be free and the French to be happy", it said. He said it was dark in 1944 when he hit the ground in hostile territory and he can't be sure exactly where he was. "Let us renew our pledge. that the cause for which they died shall live", he said.
In the United States, ceremonies, re-enactments, memorials and parades are scheduled in Abilene, Kan., at the Eisenhower Presidential Library; Alexandria, Va.; Bedford, Va.; Louisville, Ky.; Plano, Texas; Media, Pa.; Pittsburgh; Warner Robins, Ga.; and Wheaton, Ill.
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.
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