On Wednesday morning, President Trump and First Lady Melania, and Queen Elizabeth II are joining more than 300 D-Day veterans for a national ceremony remembering the iconic World War II battle’s 75th anniversary.
The celebration, ABC News reports, is taking place in Portsmouth, the launching point for Allied forces as they crossed the English Channel on D-Day.
D-Day is memorialized as the largest seaborne invasion in history and a turning point in the Second World War as Allied Forces took back Nazi-occupied France.
Here’s more, from ABC News:
Trump joined Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a special tribute at Southsea Common. On Thursday, the president will travel to Normandy to visit the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, observe re-enactments of airborne landings and participate in a Commemoration of D-Day Program alongside veterans who stormed the beaches.
The two days of events are expected to be the last that many surviving World War II veterans are able to attend. From D-Day through Aug. 21 of that year, the Allies landed more than 2 million troops in northern France and suffered more than 226,000 casualties.
A day earlier, Trump spoke during a presser where he shared America’s impact on D-Day and in the war.
“More than one-and-a-half million American service members were stationed right here in England in advance of the landings that summer,” Trump said via the report. “The bonds of friendship forged here and sealed in blood on those hallowed beaches will endure forever.”
President Trump also shared former President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s radio address to the country on June 6, 1944.
With American flags standing tall behind him, Trump echoed Roosevelt’s remarks on that historic day: “Almighty God, our sons, pride of our nation, this day, have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic, our religion and our civilization and to set free a suffering humanity.”
Fox News adds:
Trump traveled to the southern coast of England Wednesday to pay respects to American service members and allies who helped rescue Europe from Nazi Germany. He sat in a VIP area with other world leaders and in between Queen Elizabeth II and first lady Melania Trump during the program, which focused on a telling of events leading up to D-Day. Some 300 World War II veterans also attended the seaside ceremony.
A chilly breeze blew off the English Channel as Trump arrived for the event, the first of two he is attending to mark the 75th anniversary of the day when Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen conducted an invasion that helped liberate Europe from Nazi Germany.
Trump joined in giving a standing ovation to a group of World War II vets who appeared on stage as the commemoration began.
The Queen also spoke during the event where she praised the wartime generation’s resiliency: “When I attended the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings, some thought it might be the last such event. But the wartime generation, my generation, is resilient, and I am delighted to be with you in Portsmouth today.”
Here’s even more via ABC News:
The Portsmouth event told the story of the build-up to D-Day, according to the program, with live music, performances and testimonials.
Trump, May, Macron and Trudeau read special tributes to their individual country’s contributions, and the queen delivered an address before a Royal Navy frigate fires a naval salute and 25 historic and U.K. military aircraft fly over the proceedings.
Trump also met with American D-Day veterans, some of the 300 who then were to board the Royal British Legion’s ship to depart for Normandy.
After the Portsmouth celebration, the Trumps were headed to Shannon, Ireland, for a meeting with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar before heading to Normandy.