Rose petals will shower Statue of Liberty to mark D-Day

3rd June 2014, Comments 0 comments

A million rose petals will shower from a helicopter over New York's Statue of Liberty Friday to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Festivities will also take place on the island where the iconic sculpture stands, the French consulate and "The French Will Never Forget" group said Tuesday.

The celebrations serve to honor US troops who participated in the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied northern France on June 6, 1944, a defining moment in World War II.

In the presence of dignitaries and veterans, two large French and US flags will be unfurled at the foot of the statue by 130 students from French and American schools in New York and New Jersey.

That morning, the French Navy frigate La Fayette will dock at the Port of New York near the statue, which was a gift from France to the United States and was inaugurated in 1886.

The Allied landings on Normandy beaches -- codenamed Operation Neptune -- were the biggest naval operation ever in terms of the number of ships employed.

By the end of the first day more than 200,000 soldiers were pitted against each another.

Nineteen heads of state and government, including US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, are expected in Normandy to mark the anniversary.

Some 1,800 veterans of that day -- most of them aged over 90 -- are also due to attend the on-site commemorations.

© 2014 AFP

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