D-Day veteran Harold Terens, 100, marries in Normandy

June 10, 2024
3,234 Views

Afterward they waved to gathered spectators from an upstairs window, holding champagne flutes.

“To everybody’s good health,” Terens toasted. “And to peace in the world and the preservation of democracy all over the world and the end of the war in Ukraine and Gaza.”

This year’s anniversary is especially noteworthy because it may be the last major milestone featuring many of the veterans themselves. All are in the 90s or over 100, like Terens.

He spent that day working as a radio operator mechanic based in Yorkshire, northern England, communicating with 60 P-47 Thunderbolt fighter planes flying over France — only half of which returned.

Twelve days later he traveled to Normandy in person to transport freshly freed American prisoners of war back to England, and pick up newly captured Germans.

Image: 100-Year-Old World War II Veteran Harold Terens Marries 96-Year-Old Jeanne Swerlin In Normandy, France
A large crowd turned out to see the happy couple.Win McNamee / Getty Images

Interest in his wedding was so great that it attracted a media gaggle four rows deep. Days beforehand, however, Terens gave his thoughts to NBC News in a telephone interview.

“My cup runneth over, I’m blessed, I am the luckiest guy in the whole world to be back here and I plan on coming next year and the year after,” he said. 

The battle eight decades ago was never far from his mind. He described the war as “hell” and the sight of dead bodies and remains littering the beaches as “one of the most disgusting things I’ve seen in my life.”

A key, strategic town close to the coast, Carentan was the site of a major battle, depicted in the 2001 HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” four days after D-Day itself.

By holding the wedding here, Terens bookended a remarkable lifelong relationship with this part of the world. And he has not forgotten his compatriots who died here that day.

“I’m spiritual, and I came here to invite all those soldiers buried on Omaha Beach, 9,836 of them, to my wedding,” he told NBC News before the event. “I’d like them to attend in spirit. And I want them to know that they’re not forgotten.”

The mood at the ceremony was far from somber, however. 

“He’s the greatest kisser ever, you know?” Swerlin said, swooning while surrounded by TV cameras.

“All right! That’s it for now!” Terens said as he came up for air. To which she quickly quipped: “You mean there’s more later?”

Konstantin Shukhnov reported from Carentan, and Alexander Smith from London.

Source link

You may be interested

Wolves attack and seriously injure woman who went jogging in French zoo
Top Stories
shares3,599 views
Top Stories
shares3,599 views

Wolves attack and seriously injure woman who went jogging in French zoo

new admin - Jun 24, 2024

Police and prosecutors were investigating how a 37-year-old woman came to be attacked and seriously injured by three wolves in…

French snap election brings violence risk, minister says
World
shares2,241 views
World
shares2,241 views

French snap election brings violence risk, minister says

new admin - Jun 24, 2024

France could see civil unrest and violence that is related to the elections, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said Monday as…

Sweltering heat wave puts 44 million under warnings; flood risk remains in Midwest
Business
shares3,444 views
Business
shares3,444 views

Sweltering heat wave puts 44 million under warnings; flood risk remains in Midwest

new admin - Jun 24, 2024

[ad_1] More than 44 million people across the United States were under some form of heat warning or advisory Monday,…