Live updates: D-Day 80th anniversary in Normandy, Biden, Macron, Zelensky, Prince William attend (2024)

2:20 p.m. ET, June 6, 2024

Our live coverage of the 80th anniversary of D-Day has ended. Read more about D-Day here or scroll through the posts on today's events below.

12:59 p.m. ET, June 6, 2024

French President Emmanuel Macron: "Let us be worthy of those who landed here"

From CNN's Joshua Berlinger and Emmanuel Miculita in Paris

Live updates: D-Day 80th anniversary in Normandy, Biden, Macron, Zelensky, Prince William attend (1)

French President Emmanuel Macron closed the international ceremony marking 80 years since D-Day with a speech honoring the soldiers who fought in the largest seaborne invasion in human history and, as other leaders have done throughout the day, drawing parallels to the current geopolitical unrest — most notably the war in Ukraine.

"Here, 80 years ago to the day, these men defied all odds to liberate our soil, our nation," Macron said.

Perhaps the strongest part of Macron's speech was its end, in which he honored Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — who was in attendance — and the Ukrainian people's fight against Russia.

"Faced with the return of war to our continent, faced with the questioning of everything they fought for, faced with those who claim to change borders by force or rewrite history, let us be worthy of those who landed here. Your presence here today, Mr. President of Ukraine, says it all,” Macron said, followed by a brief interruption of the roar of a fighter jet flyover.

Europe has not seen the type of ground conflict that is raging in Ukraine since the end of World War II, and this year’s anniversary comes as Russian forces advance on the battlefield – handing Kyiv a series of tactical defeats and poking holes in the already fragile Western alliance opposed to the Kremlin’s war.

"We know that liberty is a fight for every morning," Macron added. "For everyone in this world that lives hoping for liberty, for equality, for fraternity the sixth of June is a day without end, a never-ending dawn."
12:43 p.m. ET, June 6, 2024

World War II veteran dies while traveling to France for D-Day anniversary

From CNN’s Dakin Andone

Live updates: D-Day 80th anniversary in Normandy, Biden, Macron, Zelensky, Prince William attend (2)

Robert Persichitti, a 102-year-old World War II US Navy veteran, died last week while on his way to France to commemoratethe 80th anniversary of D-Day, according to Honor Flight Rochester, a veterans organization.

Persichittiwasa “wonderful, pleasant, humbleguy,” who was “easy to talk to,”saidHonor Flight Rochester President and CEORichard Stewart, who told CNN he learned of his friend’s death last Friday.

“We miss him,” said Stewart.

While Persichitti passed away bound for Normandy — where the Allied forces’landing on June 6, 1944, laid the foundation for the defeat of Nazi Germany — he served in the Pacific as a radioman aboard the USS Eldorado, Stewart said. His tour of duty included Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Guam, according to Stewart andthe New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame, into which Persichitti was inducted in 2020.

Persichitti fell illlast weekduring a stop in Germany while headed for Normandy,Al DeCarlo, a friend who was traveling with Persichitti, toldCNN affiliate WHAM.Persichitti was airlifted to the hospitalanddied soon after, DeCarlo said.

“The doctor was with him. He was not alone, he was at peace and he was comfortable,” DeCarlo said. “She put his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra, on her phone and he peacefully left us.”

Persichitti had heart problems in the past, “but for 102, I would say he was in superb health,”Stewart told CNN.

Persichitti was born in a coal mining town outside Pittsburgh, Stewart said, describing his friend's “humble, poor beginnings.” After the war, Persichitti worked as a carpentry teacher in Rochester, New York, according to the Veterans Hall of Fame, and in 1972 received a degree from SUNY Buffalo.

12:14 p.m. ET, June 6, 2024

Trump posts tribute on 80thanniversary of D-Day landings in Normandy

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

Former US President Donald Trump on Thursday posted a tribute to the “immortal heroes who landed at Normandy” to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy.

“Today, we honor the immortal heroes who landed at Normandy 80 years ago. The men of D-Day will live forever in history as among the bravest, noblest, and greatest Americans ever to walk the earth. They shed their blood, and thousands gave their lives, in defense of American Freedom. They are in our hearts today and for all time,” Trump posted on Truth Social.

12:23 p.m. ET, June 6, 2024

France's Macron awards 3 more people the Legion of Honor

From CNN's Emmanuel Miculita and Joshua Berlinger in Paris

Live updates: D-Day 80th anniversary in Normandy, Biden, Macron, Zelensky, Prince William attend (3)

French President Emmanuel Macron used the international ceremony commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day to award the Legion of Honor, France's highest military or civilian distinction, to three more American veterans: Joseph Miller, Richard Calvin Rung and Arlester Brown.

Earlier in the day, Macron awarded the Legion of Honor toChristian Lamb, a 104-year-old British woman credited with having made the maps for the D-Day landing, and 11 other American veterans.

11:31 a.m. ET, June 6, 2024

Testimonials and musical performances are taking place during international ceremony

As the international ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day on Omaha Beach is underway, testimonials from those who fought in the war are currently being read out.

Along with the testimonials, musical performances are demonstrated in front of attendees.

French President Emmanuel Macron is set to deliver an address later during the ceremony.

11:40 a.m. ET, June 6, 2024

Austin says "Ukraine matters" in the midst of D-Day ceremonies

From CNN's Shania Shelton

Live updates: D-Day 80th anniversary in Normandy, Biden, Macron, Zelensky, Prince William attend (4)

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin discussed Russia's war in Ukraine while participating in D-Day ceremonies, telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer that "Ukraine matters."

"I have engaged membersof Congress on both sides, in both parties. I have seenthroughout strong support forUkraine, and even though it tooka while to get the legislationthrough, I was confident thatthat the right thing wasgoing to happen."

He continued, "Because anytimeyou see that type of support onboth sides of the aisle for acause, Congress will find away to get things done, whichis what they did in this case,because it's the right thingto do."

11:09 a.m. ET, June 6, 2024

The international ceremony is underway

From CNN's Josh Berlinger in Paris

The international ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day on Omaha Beach has begun.

More than 20 heads of state and government and representatives from royal families across Europe are in attendance.

French President Emmanuel Macron is set to deliver an address later during the ceremony.

11:09 a.m. ET, June 6, 2024

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrives at international ceremony to standing ovation

From CNN's Joshua Berlinger in Paris

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived at Thursday's international ceremony to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day to a standing ovation and a rousing applause.

Zelensky's presence — and Russian leader Vladimir Putin's absence, despite Soviet Russia's key role in winning the war in Europe — is highly symbolic given how the war in Ukraine is casting a shadow over the day's events.

Several world leaders have already used their speeches to cast parallels between Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the aggression of Nazi Germany that sparked World War II.

Watch the moment here:

Live updates: D-Day 80th anniversary in Normandy, Biden, Macron, Zelensky, Prince William attend (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 6686

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (56 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Birthday: 1995-01-14

Address: 55021 Usha Garden, North Larisa, DE 19209

Phone: +6812240846623

Job: Corporate Healthcare Strategist

Hobby: Singing, Listening to music, Rafting, LARPing, Gardening, Quilting, Rappelling

Introduction: My name is Foster Heidenreich CPA, I am a delightful, quaint, glorious, quaint, faithful, enchanting, fine person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.