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Presidents, Prime Ministers and Heads of States and Governments of 14 countries paid rich and tearful tributes to thousands who lay down their lives on the fateful day of June 6, 1944, famously called D-Day. The decision of the Allied Forces to land on the beaches of Normandy on the midnight of that day changed the course of the World War II and ultimately led to the fall of Adolf Hitler. This year is the 75th anniversary of D-Day and leading the tributes was the Queen of England herself, who shared her own memories of that day, when she was just 12 years old and her father, George VI was the King.
Leaders Took Turns to Read Letters
One of the highlights of the day’s events (D-Day commemoration is being held over two days this year) was the reading of letters written by some of the soldiers to their families. Key leaders present on the occasion apart from the Queen were President Donald Trump, Teresa May, the outgoing PM of England and Emmanuel Macron, the President of France. Even Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany was present representing her country.
The French President read a letter from Henri Fertet to his parents. It was naturally quite emotional. Similarly, Prime Minister May read a letter from Captain Norman Skinner of the Royal Army Service Corps, written to his wife Gladys three days before D-Day. Captain Skinner died the day after he wrote that letter. His wife was present there with tearful eyes.
Queen Elizabeth and President Trump Recall Speeches Made Then
Queen Elizabeth used the occasion to read out part of the speech delivered by her father, the King at that time-
“What is demanded from us all is something more than courage and endurance.We need a revival of spirit, a new unconquerable resolve”
She then went on to compliment all those who had done exactly what the King said the nation needed and she thanked all of them for that.
President Trump read out Franklin D Roosevelt’s famous prayer to the US troops heading for England in which he spoke of a “mighty endeavour” and “faith in our united crusade”. Some remarkable events were held at the French side as well.
The Queen remarked that when she attended the 60th anniversary of D-Day many thought it was the last such event and the survivors of D-Day may not survive beyond that. The fact that there are still so many, including her observing the day, speaks of their resolve, she said.