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A WWII veteran lays a message at a fallen soldier's grave in Bayeux, France A WWII veteran lays a message at a fallen soldier's grave in Bayeux, France  (ANSA)

Pope Francis ‘grateful’ for courage of D-Day soldiers

As world leaders and veterans commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings in Europe, Pope Francis expresses his appreciation for the courage of soldiers who committed themselves to fighting for freedom and peace.

By Devin Watkins

Pope Francis sent his gratitude to the soldiers who fought in World War II, in a message read out at Mass by Bishop Jean-Claude Boulanger, of Bayeux-Lisieux, in France.

The Holy Father said the Allied landings on June 6, 1944 in Normandy and elsewhere in Europe were “decisive in the fight against Nazi barbarism”.

He said the campaign “opened the path to end World War II, which has so deeply wounded Europe and the world.”

Gratitude

The Pope said he was grateful to the many soldiers who “had the courage to commit themselves and give their lives for freedom and peace.”

He also prayed for the souls of all the fallen soldiers and the millions who died in the war.

Pope Francis expressed his hope that the 75th commemoration of D-Day would allow all generations around the world to recognize that “peace is based on respect for each person, whatever his or her background, on respect for the law and the common good, on respect for the environment entrusted to our care and for the richness of the moral tradition inherited from past generations.”

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06 June 2019, 17:13