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Ceremony Marks 42nd Anniversary of D-Day Invasion

June 07, 1986|Associated Press

UTAH BEACH, France — French and American officials, marking the 42nd anniversary of D-Day, said Friday that solidarity and cooperation are as indispensable today as in 1944, but that this time the threat is terrorism.

In a ceremony on Utah Beach, French, American, British, Canadian, Belgian and Dutch officials honored the more than 10,000 Allied casualties in the invasion of Europe.

A total of 156,205 Allied troops assaulted the occupying German army's Normandy defenses on June 6, 1944. Eleven months later, the crumbling regime of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich surrendered.

"Today we must stand firm with the same unity and resolve that turned this battle into a victory; for we face another totalitarian threat today. . . ." said U.S. Ambassador Joe M. Rodgers. "They act, not through direct attack, but through cowardly acts of terrorism. . . . We can give them no doubt about our resolve to resist terrorism through cooperation and collective measures."

French Defense Minister Andre Giraud reaffirmed France's friendship with the United States, despite what he called "occasional differences of appreciation."

That was an apparent allusion to the French decision not to let U.S. bombers headed for military strikes on Libya fly over France on April 15. The raid was in retaliation for Libya's involvement in international terrorism.

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