Trump commemorates 'unprecedented' D-Day events with Queen, world leaders

Last Updated: Wed, Jun 12, 2019 11:04 hrs
Donald Trump

London: United States President Donald Trump, who is currently on a state visit to the United Kingdom, commemorated an "unprecedented" set of events on the 75th anniversary of the D-Day in Portsmouth on Wednesday in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II, British Prime Minister Theresa May and other world leaders, including Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau.

The Normandy landings were the landing operations made on June 6, 1944, by the Allied forces of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed as 'Operation Neptune' and often referred to as the 'D-Day', the Normandy landings was the largest ever seaborne invasion in history.

Voice of America reported that the events of the day included musical performances and historical readings, including Trump reciting a prayer that former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt read to those listening on the radio after the start of 1944 invasion.

May's office released a statement highlighting the "historic international cooperation" involved in the massive operation to land forces across the English Channel in Normandy, France as allied militaries worked to defeat Nazi Germany.

"As we unite to pay tribute to those whose bravery and sacrifice on the beaches of Normandy marked a turning point in the Second World War, we will vow never to forget the debt we owe them," the statement said.

"Their solidarity and determination in the defence of our freedom remains a lesson to us all," it added.

The British Queen also delivered a speech at the D-Day commemorations, describing her own wartime generation as resilient and paying tribute on behalf of "the whole free world" to those who died during the Normandy landings, CNN reported.

Later in the day, Trump is also scheduled to meet U.S. service members, before embarking on his first official trip to Ireland for a bilateral meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Shannon.

In Ireland, activists have further been reported to set up spots for protesting near Shannon airport, where Trump will touch down for a meeting with Varadkar.

On Tuesday, the President deployed a mix of diplomacy and barbs in his joint news conference with May in London. He said that the United States is committed to a "phenomenal trade deal" with Britain as the country prepares to leave the European Union.

Trump also praised May, who is stepping down as Conservative Party leader on Friday after failing to secure a deal to leave the EU.

Meanwhile, the President described opposition Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has been critical of Trump, as a "negative force," and said he would not meet with him during his visit.Trump also renewed his criticism of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who wrote in The Observer newspaper that welcoming Trump for a state visit was "un-British."