Remembering the heroes of D-Day, 75 years later

World Today

Remembering a somber anniversary. It was 75-years ago that Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy in occupied France. Veterans and world leaders gathered to honor the heroes of D-day. CGTN’s Stefan de Vries reports.

A lone piper played to honor the moment the first British soldier touched Normandy’s shores in 1944. It marked the beginning of the commemorations of the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Early in the morning, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron attended a ceremony to remember the fallen soldiers from the U.K.

“They were soldiers of democracy, they were the men of D-Day and to them we owe our freedom”, one British veteran said.

Macron then went to the American Cemetery on Omaha Beach, one of the landing sites. Together with U.S. President Donald Trump, he hosted a ceremony attended by over 15,000 people.

President Emmanuel Macron of France sincerely thanked the Americans for their bravery and the sacrifices they made to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany. But Macron also praised international institutions, a clear hint at Donald Trump’s protectionism and refusal of multilateralism.

“We must always uphold the alliance of free people. That’s what the victors did, the day after the German and Japanese capitulation, they created the United Nations. It’s what the United States did by creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It’s what the leaders of this continent did by bringing about the European Union some years later,” French President Emmanuel Macron said.

President Macron gave six American Veterans the nation’s highest award. This 75th Anniversary of D-Day was probably the last great ceremony attended by those who actually landed on the beaches of Normandy in 1944.

Professor Michael Desch puts D-Day into context

CGTN’s Asieh Namdar interviewed Michael Desch, a professor and director of the International Security Center at the University of Notre Dame about the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the ongoing commemorations.