100-year-old U.S. vet marries bride, 96, at D-Day occasion in France | EUROtoday

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Harold Terens first visited Normandy about 80 years in the past, within the aftermath of D-Day, as a U.S. Army Air Forces corporal. Many of his buddies had died storming Normandy’s seashores about two weeks earlier, and Terens was tasked with serving to ship German prisoners and freed American prisoners of warfare to England.

This 12 months, Terens was within the area for a way more joyous purpose: His marriage ceremony. After collaborating within the commemoration of the eightieth anniversary of D-Day, Terens and his 96-year-old fiancée, Jeanne Swerlin, arrived at a stone constructing in Carentan-les-Marais on Saturday for what he referred to as the very best day of his life.

The ceremony was symbolic — not binding in regulation — in keeping with the Associated Press. Regardless, Terens advised The Washington Post that he considers the wedding official and that he doesn’t plan to pursue legally binding vows within the United States.

The couple kissed and exchanged rings, drank Champagne and mentioned they felt like a king and queen after they waved from a second-floor window after the ceremony. Later, Terens and Swerlin had been pushed to Paris, the place the nation’s president, Emmanuel Macron, congratulated them throughout a speech at a state dinner with President Biden.


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“There’s no love affair ever, fictional or otherwise, that’s better than ours,” Terens advised The Post on Sunday.

Terens and Swerlin each grew up in New York City however didn’t meet till about three years in the past. In 1942 — throughout World War II — Terens enlisted within the U.S. Army Air Forces and served as a radio restore technician. On D-Day in 1944, Terens mentioned he was stationed in Britain, the place he helped restore planes to rejoin the battle in France.

Swerlin, in the meantime, was buddies with some U.S. army personnel who gave her souvenirs from the warfare, resembling canine tags. After the warfare, they each began households and ultimately moved to Florida.

But Terens mentioned his spouse of 70 years, Thelma, died in 2018 after affected by breast most cancers and Alzheimer’s illness. The subsequent 12 months, Swerlin mentioned, her fiancé, Sol, died whereas he was within the bathe after they had been collectively for twenty-four years. Neither thought they might discover love once more.

In 2021, Terens’s and Swerlin’s buddies set them up on a date at Seasons 52 in Boca Raton, Fla. Terens mentioned that after their thighs by accident touched below the desk, he grew to become infatuated and even misplaced his urge for food.

They started courting and kissed on their subsequent date; Swerlin mentioned Terens was the very best kisser she had ever met. They cherished dancing, particularly to Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”

“It took 96 years to find out what love is all about,” Swerlin advised The Post.

After they returned from dinner one evening final summer time, Terens knelt in Swerlin’s storage and requested her to marry him. Swerlin agreed — then joked that she didn’t know methods to assist Terens get again up.

Last week was Terens’s fourth time visiting Normandy for D-Day commemorations, however he had one more reason to be there this time. Terens mentioned he wished the greater than 4,000 Allied troops who died on the close by seashores eight a long time earlier to attend his marriage ceremony in spirit.

On Saturday morning, dozens of individuals stood exterior Carentan-les-Marais’s city corridor when Terens, in a light-blue go well with, and Swerlin, carrying a pink gown and holding a bouquet of flowers, arrived. Terens smiled as he handed dozens of individuals clapping and taking part in the bagpipes. About 40 of the couple’s relations attended the marriage, he mentioned.

Terens mentioned his granddaughter sang Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” as Jeanne walked down the aisle. The city’s mayor, Jean-Pierre Lhonneur, served because the officiant. After he learn vows, Terens and Swerlin, who had been sitting at a desk, had been requested if they might marry one another.

“Oui,” they every responded. Then Swerlin threw a bouquet that landed on the bottom.

Holding flutes of Champagne by the open window of the constructing’s second flooring, Terens toasted: “To everybody’s good health. And to peace in the world and the preservation of democracy all over the world and the end of the war in Ukraine and Gaza.”

Terens and Swerlin took a automotive to Paris for Saturday’s state dinner on the Élysée Palace. Terens joked that he was jealous when Swerlin hugged Biden for a couple of seconds.

Terens mentioned they each had been exhausted Sunday however that after they recuperate, they’ll have fun their honeymoon this week in Paris.

“We’re looking forward to a long and happy life together,” he mentioned.