This year’s 76th anniversary since that fateful June 6 on France’s Normandy beaches, when allied troops in 1944 turned the course of World War II and went on to defeat fascism in Europe in one of the most remarkable feats in military history, will be characterized by the few who will present to mourn those who lost their lives.
Saturday’s anniversary will be one of the loneliest remembrances ever, as the coronavirus pandemic is keeping almost everyone away — from government leaders to frail veterans who might not get another chance for a final farewell to their unlucky comrades.
Rain and wind are also forecast, after weeks of warm, sunny weather.
Despite the lack of international crowds this time, the locals in this northwestern part of France will come out once more to show their gratitude for the soldiers from the United States, Britain, Canada and other countries who liberated them from Adolf Hitler’s Nazi forces.
Last year stood out, with U.S. President Donald Trump joining his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron at the American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach. A smattering of veterans were honored with the highest accolades. All across the beaches of Normandy tens of thousands came from across the globe to pay their respects to the dead and laud the surviving soldiers.
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