France pays tribute to British D-Day troops

7th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

BAYEUX, France, June 6, 2006 (AFP) - France's minister for veterans on Tuesday paid tribute to the World War II sacrifice of British forces on the 62nd anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy.

BAYEUX, France, June 6, 2006 (AFP) - France's minister for veterans on Tuesday paid tribute to the World War II sacrifice of British forces on the 62nd anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy.

"I want to voice our deepest gratitude towards the air, land and sea forces of the United Kingdom," Hamlaoui Mekachera told a crowd assembled at the British cemetery in the northern town of Bayeux.

"At dawn on June 6, 25,000 children of Albion launched the assault on Gold" -- one of the five beaches where 155,000 Allied troops launched the drive to free Europe from Nazi occupation.

"Their courage, their valour, their greatness will never be forgotten. With their comrades-in-arms... these men carried the values of selflessness and sacrifice to their pinnacle," said Mekachera.

Britain's ambassador to France, Sir John Holmes, was present for the tribute, along with British and French troops and veterans from both sides.

Early on June 6, 1944, British, Canadian and US forces led the assault on the Calvados coast in Normandy, in the sectors later renamed Gold, Sword, Juno, Utah and Omaha, to release France from German occupation.

Over 60 years later, the Normandy invasion, codenamed Operation Overlord, remains the largest seaborne invasion in history, involving almost three million troops crossing the English Channel to France.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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