President Donald Trump joins world leaders to pay tribute on 75th anniversary of D-Day originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump will travel to Portsmouth as part of a two-day commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the largest amphibious assault ever and the turning point for Allied Forces in recapturing Western Europe from Nazi Germany in World War II.
Portsmouth, a major port city in southern England, was the launching point for D-Day landings on June 6 and the home of Southwick House, headquarters for allied leader U.S. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
PHOTO: President Donald Trump and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May give a joint press conference at the Foreign and Commonwealth office in London, June 4, 2019. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)More
Trump will join 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.
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"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 of Portsmouth during a press conference with May on Tuesday. "The bonds of friendship forged here and sealed in blood on those hallowed beaches will endure forever."
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PHOTO: Wounded British troops from the South Lancashire and Middlesex regiments are being helped ashore at Sword Beach, June 6, 1944, during the D-Day invasion of German occupied France during World War II. (British Navy via AP)More
May said the event aims to "reaffirm the enduring importance of the Western alliance and the shared values that underpin it."
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The Portsmouth event will tell the story of the build-up to D-Day, according to the program, with live music, performances and testimonials.
Trump, May, Macron and Trudeau all are scheduled to read special tributes to their individual country's contributions, and the queen will deliver an address before a Royal Navy frigate fires a naval salute and 25 historic and U.K. military aircraft fly over the proceedings.
Trump will meet with American D-Day veterans, some of the 300 who will then board the Royal British Legion's ship to depart for Normandy.
After the Portsmouth celebration, the Trumps will travel to Shannon, Ireland, for a meeting with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar before heading to Normandy.
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