On June 6th, 2019, Democrats Abroad France members joined Queen Elizabeth; leaders from France, Canada, UK, Germany, the Netherlands, the US and 10 other countries; along with veterans, families of the fallen and those who wished to honour those who fought and those who gave their lives to protect freedom and democracy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
This was a momentous occasion to celebrate peace, liberty and reconciliation. Democrats Abroad France was present with a large delegation of members and DA France leaders.
Here are a few moments from this moving and memorable day shared in photos and words.
Connie Borde, DNC member, co-chair of the DA France Women's Caucus and former Chair, writes:
" Rainy weather did not stop 35 of our DAF members to hop on our rented bus in Paris and take off for Normandy in the dark at 5:30 AM on D-Day. We were duly rewarded with beautiful weather and an unforgettable day spent at the moving Omaha Beach ceremony, a tribute to that moment when compatriotism marked one of the bravest moments in history.
Presidents Trump and Macron put differences aside and joined in the praise of the remaining veterans of this Normandy battle, and those who lost their lives in it. The day was spent pondering over the tragedy of war. The ceremony was rich in symbolism and being together in our group was a bonding experience.
One of our best moments was meeting our Congressional Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and telling her how proud we were of her Democratic leadership. We returned to Paris with everlasting images of the white crosses and stars of David, the green grass, the blue water of the English Channel and the seemingly unsurmountable beach and cliffs beneath us.
Indeed, we shall never forget."
Many thanks go to Anna Marie Mattson for putting us in touch with the right military authorities that made this day possible for us.
From Anna Marie, DA France DPCA Voting Representative, we have these recollections as the day drew to an end:
"Who was this ceremony for? Our Vets who had come back to say goodbye to their fallen camarades and to remember those who did not come back. The Vets got a standing ovation over and over again. The 21 gun salute was awesome as were the many flyovers.
Coming back to Paris was long since we were one of the last buses to arrive so one of the last buses to leave. We waited for over 4 hours but it was nice weather and we chatted in the sunshine, not venturing far away since we never knew what moment our bus would arrive.
Did we miss our meetings or whatever we had planned Thursday evening? Perhaps, but I was there to humbly honor the memory so it didn't matter. Life was sort of put on hold as we stepped back in time, 75 years ago. I cannot even imagine the horrors they faced. I saw the beach today. I saw the ship out there today. I saw the parachute planes. There is no glory in war, but we wll remember.
We will never ever forget."
LEST WE FORGET