Friday, June 6 marked the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, and the commemorative events were magnificent. In New York, hundreds of spectators were dazzled by a moving tribute organised by The French Will Never Forget (TFWNF), a not-for-profit association.
To honor the U.S. soldiers who fought for the liberation of France, three helicopters dropped a million rose petals on the Statute of Liberty, a gift from France to the United States in 1886 and a worldwide symbol. The Lafayette, a French navy frigate, was moored near Liberty Island with a flotilla of sailboats.
At the base of the statue, a group of 130 French and American children unfurled giant American and French flags while the band of the First Company Governor’s Foot Guard (Hartford, Conn.) performed the national anthems of both countries. The ceremony also included a 21-gun salute to honor the WWII veterans who were present.
The four TFWNF co-presidents and co-founders, Paul Bensabat, Patrick du Tertre, Jean-Pierre Heim and Christian Millet, shared the following: “On that day, once more, the French people show their appreciation to America, their oldest friend and ally, for their regained freedom. We wanted to express it in a way that has never been done before, with World War II veterans present.”