US veteran, 100, to marry in Normandy on 80th commemoration of D-Day

The man, who participated in the 1944 landings, says ‘positivity and love’ are the secrets to his longevity

A split photo with an older married couple, and the mairie of Carentan
The wedding is set to take place at the Carentan mairie in June (image of hands posed by models)
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A 100-year-old US Air Force veteran is set to get married in France on the 80th anniversary of the Normandy D-Day landings.

Harold Terens, a veteran of World War Two, celebrated his 100th birthday in August 2023 at Lake Worth Beach in Florida. At the time, he said that “positivity and love” were the secrets to his longevity.

Now, Mr Terens - known to his friends as Bobo - is set to put that into practice when he marries his 96-year-old fiancée in Carentan (Manche, Normandy). The ceremony is planned for June 8, and is set to take place at the Carentan mairie.

Having joined the US Air Force at age 19, and qualified as radio operator, Mr Terens played an important role in communications during the pivotal beach operation. He also volunteered to bring German prisoners of war to England, and actively participated in US aerial missions to bring British prisoners of war back to the UK.

"I did everything from painting planes to helping prisoners regain their spirits," said Mr Terens to his local newspaper.

Mr Terens has received numerous US government war medals for his role in the conflict. He also received the French honour la Légion d’Honneur when he attended the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy in 2019.

#DDay75 This morning in #Normandy, President @EmmanuelMacron presented WWII Vet. Harold Terens from #Florida with the Legion of Honor. Serving in the 8th Air Force, Mr. Terens participated in the success of the battles fought for the Liberation of Normandy.

— Consulate of France in Miami (@FranceinMiami) June 7, 2019

The wedding will take place amid other celebrations in Carentan for the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, which took place on June 6, 1944. This will include a parade featuring civilians wearing period dress, several concerts, and a ‘Liberation ball’.

It comes after a French MP has called for the 80th anniversary to be a national holiday in France, partly because it is likely to be one of the last major World War Two anniversaries when veterans will still be alive and able to pass on stories to their children and grandchildren.

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