Talking Proud Archives --- Culture

Meet the men of D-Day, a 60th anniversary photo album

June 8, 2004


Kings, queens, dukes, presidents and prime ministers gathered on June 6, 2004 in France to commemorate the D-Day invasion of continental Europe in 1944. They all made speeches and did all the things they do. We have come to expect our leaders to do these kinds of things, and they did it.

The real story, however, rests with the veterans of that bold invasion.

This was the largest land invasion by sea in the history of warfare. Landing on the shores of Normandy, France, 156,000 American, British, and Canadian troops stormed five code-named beaches between the Orne estuary and the Cotentin Peninsula: Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha, and Utah.




Here are some of the men who did it. We've tried to keep the politicians and royalty out, but in a few instances, well, they are part of the photo. These are presented in no particular order, but rather posted as we came across them. No matter, each is as important as the other.


One last look : Norwegian WWII veteran Trygve Hansen watches the sea shore in Hermanville-sur-Mer, France, following a commemorative ceremony for the 60th anniversary of D-Day. Photo credit: Mychele Daniau, AFP


A surviving member of the 47th Royal Marine Commandos attends a remembrance service at Port-en-Bessin Huppain, Normandy, June 7, 2004. Photo credit: Kieran Doherty, Reuters


Surviving members of the 47th Royal Marine Commandos prepare for a remembrance service at Port-en-Bessin Huppain, Normandy, June 7, 2004. Photo credit: Kieran Doherty, Reuters


War veterans take part in an emotional D-Day ceremony at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa, Sunday. Photo credit: Fred Chartrand, CP


Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin is running an unimpressive campaign ahead of the June 28 election and needs to make major changes if he is to prevent his ruling Liberals from being defeated, according to party insiders and commentators. Paul Martin jokes with a D-Day veteran during ceremonies marking the 60th Anniversary of the Allied invasion of Europe in Courseulles sur-Mer June 6, 2004. Hundreds of veterans returned to retrace their steps taken on the June 6, 1944 invasion during World War II. Photo by Andy Clark


British-born Gordon Church, 96, right, meets Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Sunday June 6, 2004, at Bayeux, France. Church, who served in the Royal Artillery during the Normandy campaign travelled 12,000 miles from his home in Melbourne, Australia to pay his respects at Bayeux, and was the oldest veteran at the parade. Photo credit: Tim Ockenden, AP


WW II veteran Fred Matthews, center, from Poole, England, reads a message written on a Union flag placed on the sands of Sword Beach, Hermanville-sur-Mer, France, Sunday June 6, 2004, as he is joined by his son Chris, right, and grandson Lee Edwards, 12. Fred served in the Royal Navy on HMS Jude during WW II. The Union Flags in the sand represent British soldiers who lost their lives on D-Day 60 yearsago to the day. Photo credit: Johnny Green, PA, AP


A Canadian veteran on Juno Beach, Courseulles-sur-Mer, France, Sunday, June 6, 2004. Photo credit: Mike Large, AP



WWII Army Rangers John Long of San Diego, left and Ralph Goranson of Vernon Hills, Ill. visit the memorial at Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France on Sunday, June 6, 2004. The point, which sits between Utah and Omaha beaches, was taken by U.S. army rangers who scaled the steep cliffs using special climbing equipment on D-Day. The memorial has been closed due to coastal erosion, but was opened for the veterans. Photo credit: Laura Rauch, AP


An unidentified D-Day veteran is thanked by a French resident as he leaves the parade in Arromanches Sunday 6th June 2004. Photo credit: Andrew Parsons, AP


Britain's Queen Elizabeth II watches D-Day veterans march in the Square in Arromanches, France Sunday 6th June 2004. Photo credit: Jamie Wiseman, AP


One-hundred-year-old John Wilson (C) links hands at the Normandy Veterans Association Parade at Arromanches, June 6, 2004. Photo credit: Jeff J Mitchell, Reuters


Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, speaks with his fellow countrymen, Oleg Ozerov, center, and Gleb Plaksin, right, war veterans, who fought in the ranks of French Resistance against Germans in Normandy in 1944. Photo credit: AP Photo/ ITAR-TASS/ Presidential Press Service


Marie Jo Hoeul, 98, a French resistance leader during WWII, celebrates D-Day in the town of Langrue de Mer, Normandy June 6, 2004. Photo credit: Kieran Doherty, Reuters


World War II veteran John Long of San Diego salutes while standing with U.S. Army Rangers at the memorial at Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France on Sunday, June 6, 2004. Photo credit: Laura Rauch, AP


Canadian D-Day veterans sit during a ceremony marking the 60th Anniversary of the Allied invasion of Europe in the town square of Courseulles sur-Mer June 5, 2004. Photo credit: Andy Clark, Reuters


Fourteen veterans wait before being decorated Knight of the Legion of Honour by French President Jacques Chirac in Arromanches, Normandy, Sunday, June 6, 2004. Photo credit: John McConnico, AP


Veterans march past a project mural of wartime soldiers at the International D-Day anniversary ceremony in Arromanches, northern France, June 6, 2004. Photo credit: Yves Herman, Reuters


WWII Army Rangers salute during a ceremony at Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France on Sunday, June 6, 2004. Photo credit: Laura Rauch, AP


World War II Army Ranger John Reville wipes his eye after telling stories while standing at Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France on Sunday, June 6, 2004. Photo credit: Laura Rauch, AP


Queen Elizabeth talks with Canadian veterans during ceremonies marking the 60th Anniversary of D-Day at Juno Beach in Courseulles su-Mer June 6, 2004. Photo credit: Reuters pool


A Canadian veteran walks along the shores of Juno Beach as piper plays along side. Photo credit: Andy Clark, Reuters


Canadian veterans spend a few quiet moments to themselves during ceremonies. Photo credit: Andy Clark, Reuters


Polish WWII veterans attend a ceremony in Urville, northwestern France, Sunday June 6, 2004. Photo credit: Frank Perry, AP


Hollywood actor Tom Hanks (L), star of the D-Day film 'Saving Private Ryan', poses with U.S. WWII veterans at a ceremony inside the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, northern France, June 6, 2004. Photo credit: Yves Hermann, Reuters (We are told, by a proud daughter, that the man standing right next to Tom Hanks, checkered shirt, is William Robert Snead, 5th Engineer Brigade, Amphibious Engineers. He landed on Omaha in the early afternoon.We salute you, Mr. Snead, thank you for your service.)


WWII veterans and families visit the American cemetery in Colleville-sur-mer. Photo credit: Jerome Delay, AP


WWII and D-Day veteran Raymond Moon kneels before the grave of a fallen comrade at the American cemetery at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France on Friday, June 4, 2004. Moon served in the 29th Division. Photo credit: Laura Rauch, AP


The U.S. flag flies at half-staff at the American Cemetery above Omaha beach in Normandy, France, June 8, 2004. Photo credit: Kieran Doherty, Reuters