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Landing: Macron praises “spirit of sacrifice” by launching commemorations after Biden’s arrival

French President Emmanuel Macron praised Wednesday "the spirit of sacrifice" of the liberators of France by launching the commemorations of the Allied Landings. of June 6, 1944, in which his American and Ukrainian counterparts will notably participate, in a demonstration of unity. against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.

“I know our country is strong in its youth (…) ready for the same spirit of sacrifice as its elders,” declared the Head of State during a first tribute in Plumelec (west) to the Breton resistance fighters and former leaders. Free French paratroopers within the British special forces.

“As the dangers mount”, “you remind us that we are ready to make the same sacrifices to defend what is most dear to us: our land of France and our republican values”, he added to the elite units represented.

The Normandy landings, organized in the greatest secrecy by the Americans, the British and the men of General de Gaulle, would open the way to the defeat of the Nazi Germany.

It was in Plumelec that “the first French soldier of the Landing fell”, Corporal Emile Bouétard, who had joined England, recalled Emmanuel Macron.

– “73,000 Courageous Americans” –

Living veterans are in the spotlight for what will be, due to their age , the last major meeting in which they will be able to participate. Dozens of American, Canadian and British veterans, some of whom participated in the “longest day”, have already arrived in Normandy.

The United Kingdom is also commemorating the 'event. King Charles, currently being treated for cancer, presided over a ceremony in Portsmouth, southern England. “Let us recommit ourselves to always remember, cherish and honor those who have served,” he said to a crowd waving thousands of small British flags.

He will meet on Thursday on the beaches of Normandy (north-west) American President Joe Biden, who arrived in Paris in the morning, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Head of State Sergio Mattarella but also Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The American president must speak during the official ceremonies on the beaches of Utah and Omaha Beach where “73,000 courageous Americans” landed to “open the way for the liberation of France and Europe”, specified the White House.

On the sidelines of this program, he must meet with Mr. Zelensky, to see “how we can continue to deepen our support,” she added. The two men will meet at the G7 summit in Italy, from June 13 to 15.

Landing: Macron praises “spirit of sacrifice” by launching commemorations after Biden’s arrival

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (left) greets French President Emmanuel Macron during a bilateral meeting, October 5, 2023 in Granada (Spain) © AFP – Ludovic MARIN

Strong symbol, Russia, ally of the United States and the United Kingdom against Nazi Germany, was formally excluded from the ceremonies because of its invasion of Ukraine.

– “Unfailing support” in kyiv –

The French presidency has not hidden its desire to display Western unity on this conflict. Mr. Macron, who will welcome Mr. Zelensky at the Elysée on Friday, must in particular clarify his intentions regarding the possible sending of military instructors to Ukraine.

Landing: Macron praises “spirit of sacrifice” by launching commemorations after Biden’s arrival

US President Joe Biden boards Air Force One before departing for France, at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, June 4, 2024 © AFP – SAUL LOEB

On June 7, Joe Biden is due to give a speech at Pointe du Hoc, still in Normandy, “on the importance of defending freedom and democracy”, according to the White House. A message that he intends to intensify in view of the new presidential election in November.

Received on Saturday in Paris, Mr. Biden will be welcomed at the Arc de Triomphe, before interviews and a banquet at the Elysée with Emmanuel Macron for his first state visit to France.

“While 80 years after the Liberation of Europe the war is back on the continent, the two presidents will discuss the unfailing and long-term support to be given to Ukraine”, specified the French presidency.

“This close coordination on international crises will be intended to prepare the next international events, in particular the G7 summit” in mid-June in Italy, and that of NATO” in July in Washington, added this source.

– “Capital of ruins” –

Mr Macron must go to Saint- in the afternoon. Lô, in Normandy, for a speech on the civilian victims of the Allied bombings “Capital of ruins”, according to the expression of the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, the city was 90% destroyed on the night of June 6 to 7. In total, these Allied bombings caused 50,000 to 70,000 civilian victims

Finally, on Wednesday evening, still in Normandy, he will pay tribute to the inmates of the Caen prison, mainly prisoners. resistance fighters, shot by the Germans during the Landing

Before the European elections, which will be held on Sunday in France and promise to be bad for his camp, the French president has decided. to stretch this year the commemorations over three days, until Friday.

In the campaign for his re-election, Joe Biden hopes to take advantage of this visit to France to to stand out from his rival Donald Trump, entangled in his legal setbacks.

After a visit Thursday to the American cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer, in Normandy, he must also file Sunday a wreath at the Bois Belleau American cemetery, in Aisne (north), in tribute to the soldiers who fell during the First World War.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116