‘History comes alive’ as last veterans mark 80 years since D-Day

World leaders gathered in Normandy on June 6 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, one of the largest military operations in history. At the American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer and at Omaha Beach, the few hundred veterans who survived that fatal day were honoured for their bravery as crowds of emotional participants looked on.

In vast contrast to the fog that blurred the horizon on June 6, 1944, the sky was a clear jet blue. Eighty years since the Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day to help liberate France from the stranglehold of Nazi occupation, people from around the world had travelled to northern France to honour those who lost their lives that fatal day.

With only a few hundred veterans still alive to tell their stories, many of whom are in their 90s and in frail health, this may have been the last major anniversary to count D-Day survivors among its participants.

“I am not usually very into history, but being here brought me a whole new perspective,” said Justin Mcclaren, an American serviceman working in the public relations department for the US Army. Stationed in Germany, he has attended many military events across Europe in recent years, but this was his first time in France.

“I was very moved to see he had tears streaming down his cheeks,” Mcclaren said, his eyes glimmering.

‘History come alive’ at the Normandy American Cemetery


Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
World War II veterans leave their children a legacy of trauma
Charles Norman Shay, the Native American veteran who tended to the wounded at Omaha Beach
Leaders and veterans mark D-Day landings at Omaha Beach