French President Emmanuel Macron listens to French war veteran Leon Gautier, a member of the Kieffer commando, during a D-Day commemoration ceremony in memory of marines and the famed Kieffer commandos who took part in D-Day landings, in Colleville-Montgomery, France June 6, 2019.
Francois Mori/Pool via REUTERS/File PhotoPARIS, June 18 (Reuters) - President Emmanuel Macron gave one of France's highest honours on Friday to Leon Gautier, last surviving member of the French commando unit that waded onshore on D-Day alongside allied troops to begin the liberation of Europe.
Gautier, who had escaped to Britain when Germany invaded France, was one of 177 French marine commanders chosen to help spearhead the first wave of D-Day landings in Normandy, stepping ashore on June 6, 1945.
The last other remaining member of that unit, Hubert Faure, died in April this year, making Gautier the sole survivor.
Remembering the D-Day landings in a 2019 interview with Reuters, Gautier recalled how a British commander had let the French unit disembark from their landing craft first, in a symbolic recognition that they were reclaiming their homeland.
Emmanuel Macron, Leon Gautier, Francois Mori, Gautier, Macron, . Gautier, Hubert Faure, ” Gautier, ” Macron, General Charles, Gaulle, Lucien Libert, Christian Lowe, Frances Kerry
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