Many survivors of Operation Overlord are currently displeased with France’s government as they feel an agreement made between them has been breached. According to the veterans, France had offered to provide transportation to the June 6th celebration of the Normandy landings’ seventieth anniversary, but has now rescinded the offer. According to France, however, there was never any promise of providing flights to the anniversary of Operation Overlord to begin with.
All nations involved in D-Day played a large role in the fight against the Germans to help free France from occupation. Of the soldiers involved, roughly seventy-three thousand were American. It is now the American veterans of Operation Overlord who are voicing contention with the French, claiming that the country’s officials had offered airborne transit to ensure that they would be a part of the invasion’s anniversary commemorations. With only a couple of weeks before the ceremonies kick off, there is not much time for said veterans to find and arrange alternate modes of transportation if they still wish to be present.
The alleged promise is not claimed to have come straight from the mouths of the French government itself, but rather liaisons in the Washington, DC embassy. Now, ambassadors are claiming that no such oath was ever pledged to the Operation Overlord veterans, nor is there any truth to the belief that lodging and ground transport while in Normandy were also to be paid for.
If this is truly a misunderstanding and not a broken pledge, then the failure in communication likely comes from the fact that ten years ago, for the sixtieth anniversary of Operation Overlord, the French government did precisely what is being expected of them currently. Now, these men must find other plans or some of them will not be able to arrive for honors that they are due to receive for their efforts in the war, the Mail Online reports.
Operation Overlord took its toll on all countries involved, with many lives lost in a battle that many claim was decisive in securing the eventual victory of the Allies. What is often hailed as the “greatest generation” of human beings is nearing its end, and this anniversary marks potentially the last time many of the veterans will ever see each other. This, along with the sheer historical significance of the event, has many of the survivors feeling especially obligated to attend. Hopefully, those who made it through Operation Overlord will still find a way to make it to France at least one more time.