Three-quarters of a century after the famous military operation on the beaches of Normandy, France, the world’s leaders gathered to pay homage to D-Day. Still the largest combined naval, air and land assault of all time, it was the Normandy landings that marked the imminent downfall of Nazi forces at the end of World War II.
French president Emmanuel Macron, British prime minister Theresa May, and US president Donald Trump gathered at the town of Portsmouth in England, not to give speeches of their own, but recitations. Macron read a letter penned by a teenage resistance fighter named Henri Fertet to his parents. “I am going to die for my country. I do not doubt that you will remain courageous, if only out of love for me,” Fertet wrote.
The serious tone turned joyful when, after the speeches, a riot of pin-up dancers and 40s-styled big bands appeared to transport onlookers back to the triumphant days of beating Hitler. And the event serves as a timely reminder of what France, England, and America can do when they decide to join forces for good.