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Dublin: 1 °C Sunday 15 December, 2019

Trump, Macron, May all to attend ceremonies in Normandy to mark 75 years since D-Day

D-Day is seen by many as one of the great symbols of transatlantic cooperation.

Military vehicles line the beach at Arromanches in Normandy, northern France, ahead of today's ceremony.
Military vehicles line the beach at Arromanches in Normandy, northern France, ahead of today's ceremony.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

WORLD LEADERS WILL attend ceremonies on the beaches of Normandy, where 75 years ago Allied troops landed to push Nazi forces out of France during World War II.

US president Donald Trump – arriving from Ireland after his trip these yesterday – will attend the ceremony along with French president Emmanuel Macron and outgoing UK prime minister Theresa May. 

This is the second day they will meet to salute the heroism of the soldiers who surged onto the Normandy sands on 6 June, 1944.

The site overlooking Omaha Beach holds 9,400 graves – just 40% of the American forces killed during the weeks of fighting that followed the D-Day landings.

Both leaders will give speeches, while the French president will also bestow the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honour, on five American veterans.

D-Day is seen by many as one of the great symbols of transatlantic cooperation, as young American servicemen sacrificed their lives in the struggle to end the Third Reich’s grip on Europe.

Tens of thousands of French and foreign visitors have converged on the Normandy coast for this year’s commemorations to honour the dwindling number of first-hand witnesses to the fighting. 

Trump’s trip

Trump arrived in Shannon Airport yesterday evening to be greeted by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. The pair held a joint press conference where they talked about the strong relationship between both countries. 

“I thought this would be the best place [to come],” he said, of his visit to Ireland.

I love Ireland. I love Doonbeg.

Trump was quizzed on his thoughts about Ireland’s corporation tax rate, something that he has attacked in speeches before

“It’s a very low tax, I have to agree,” Trump said to a question by’s Christina Finn.

Your prime minister has done a good job.

Trump arrived in France after a state visit to Britain, where he attended a ceremony in Portsmouth to mark D-Day alongside Queen Elizabeth II and over a dozen other world leaders.

In a joint proclamation, the 16 nations present at Portsmouth affirmed their shared responsibility to ensure that the horrors of World War II are never repeated.

They reaffirmed their commitment to “shared values” and vowed to work together to defend freedoms “whenever they are threatened”.

On June 6, 1944, now known as the “longest day”, 156,000 troops landed on the beaches chosen for the D-Day invasion, most of them American, British and Canadian.

It remains the largest amphibious assault in history, claiming the lives of an estimated 4,400 troops in the first day alone.

With reporting from - © AFP 2019

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