[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 6 June, 2004, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
In quotes: World leaders on D-Day
Heads of state and thousands of war veterans have gathered to commemorate 60 years since the D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe.

Here are some excerpts of speeches made from events in northern France on Sunday:

Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen and Prince Phillip
The Queen visited graves at Bayeux after speaking on Juno Beach

The invasion of France in 1944 was one of the most dramatic military operations in history.

It would have been difficult enough for a single nation to plan and execute such an enterprise. For a group of allies with little previous experience in co-operation, it was a major triumph.

The operation...was only achieved with the sacrifice of many courageous and determined allied servicemen, including a large number of your Canadian colleagues who landed here with you on Juno Beach.

Britain had been directly threatened by the enemy but you came across from the relative security of your homeland to fight for the freedom of Europe.

On this anniversary day I join all your countrymen and allies in saluting you, the heroes and veterans of a historic campaign.

US President George Bush

In the trials and total sacrifice of the war, we became inseparable allies.

George Bush
Mr Bush at the American cemetery in Colleville, near Omaha Beach

It is a strange turn of history that called on young men from the prairie towns and city streets of America to cross an ocean, and throw back the marching, mechanised evils of fascism.

And those young men did it. You did it.

Only those who made that crossing can know what it was like. They tell of the pitching deck, the whistling of shells behind them...and the sound of bullets hitting the steel ramp that was about to fall.

As one GI said, "I became a visitor to hell".

French President Jacques Chirac

We hold up the example of Franco-German reconciliation to show the world that hatred has no future, that a path to peace is always possible.

Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac said France would never forget the sacrifices made

To you, legendary heroes of that blood-red dawn of June 6 1944.

To you, children of the world thrown so young into the fire of war.

To you, admirable symbols of courage and devotion, of honour and nobility, of duty and supreme selflessness.

To you, on behalf of all French men and women, on behalf of all the heads of state and governments gathered here today and of all freedom-loving people, I express our gratitude, our pride and our admiration.


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific