Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Xenophobic attacks in south africa prompt a regional crisis

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

"Europe's darkest day"

Read more

DEBATE

Migrant Deaths: has Europe lost its compassion? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Migrant Deaths: what is Europe going to do? (part 1)

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové: 'Four or five companies are deciding what we eat'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

UK general election: Britain's EU membership in question

Read more

REPORTERS

Turkey’s hidden Armenians search for stolen identity

Read more

ENCORE!

Emilie Gassin: Singer's pop charms woo French crowds

Read more

FOCUS

CAR: Thousands of Muslims trapped in enclaves

Read more

Americas

D-Day in New York: a million rose petals and a big ‘merci’

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-06-07

World War II veterans looked on while a million rose petals fell to the ground on New York’s Liberty Island on Friday as the US, which lost thousands of young men to Operation Overlord on June 6, 1944, commemorated the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Three helicopters dropped the petals onto the island - home to the Statue of Liberty - as the French and American national anthems were played. A French military frigate was moored to the island for the occasion.

Guests included school children - some of whose grandparents served in the war - military personnel and World War II veterans, who looked back to the events 70 years ago, when tens of thousands of Allied Forces stormed several of Normandy's beaches in what would be history's largest amphibious assault. The brutal battle which ensued saw thousands of American, British and Canadian troops killed, and heralded the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany.

“It was an experience of my life I’ll never forget” 95-year-old veteran George J Meade told FRANCE 24. “But today is a great experience because at least the French people appreciate that the American forces were there; what we, amongst others, did.”

“All I saw was dead people and wounded Americans,” Joseph Chiofolo, a 92-year-old veteran told FRANCE 24. ”I did the best I could. I used common sense, that’s all. I’m just a lucky guy.”

Meanwhile in Times Square, FRANCE 24 broadcast images on one of the Manhattan landmark’s giant screens of the Normandy landings and of the commemorative ceremonies that took place across Normandy beaches on Friday.

James and Mary Smith, retirees from Atlanta, Georgia, stopped in the square to watch the report. “More Americans were killed in France on D-Day than any other battle in the Second World War,” James Smith said, applauding Friday’s ceremonies in Normandy. “Good on France.”

Another passer-by, Samantha from North Carolina (who preferred not to give her surname), said that she felt it was important to remember D-Day. “This is certainly a very special day for us, coming from a military family” she said.

Date created : 2014-06-07

  • FRANCE

    Thousands gather on Normandy shores to recall 'The Longest Day'

    Read more

  • WORLD WAR II

    In pictures: Highlights of the D-Day 70th anniversary ceremony

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Putin says Poroshenko has 'right approach' to stop Ukraine violence

    Read more

COMMENT(S)