Trump attends D-Day anniversary ceremony in England

Trump attends D-Day anniversary ceremony in England
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpCampaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis Outgoing inspector general says Trump fired him for carrying out his 'legal obligations' Trump hits Illinois governor after criticism: 'I hear him complaining all the time' MORE on Wednesday joined other world leaders and the royal family at a ceremony in Portsmouth, England, to commemorate the upcoming 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

Hundreds of people — including military officials and World War II veterans — gathered at an amphitheater just across the English Channel from where the Allied invasion took place on June 6, 1944.

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Trump took the stage to read an excerpt from a prayer that then-President Franklin Roosevelt delivered to the nation on the radio on the eve of the invasion.

"This day, we set upon a mighty endeavor," Trump said, reading from Roosevelt's remarks. "A struggle to preserve our republic, our religion and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. They will need thy blessings for the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces but we shall return again and again."

“Give us faith. Give us faith in thee, faith in our sons, faith in each other and faith in our united crusade. Thy will be done, almighty God," Trump concluded.

The president was on stage for roughly a minute. He was seated for the rest of the ceremony in the gallery between Queen Elizabeth II and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpMelania Trump urges Americans to wear face coverings in public Trump again tests negative for coronavirus Melania Trump speaks with Canada's first lady following her coronavirus recovery MORE.

"When I attended the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings, some thought it might be the last such event," the queen said her remarks. "But the wartime generation, my generation, is resilient, and I’m delighted to be with you in Portsmouth today."

Other world leaders also took the stage to recount stories and letters from the invasion, including British Prime Minister Theresa MayTheresa Mary MayNo 'post-Brexit doom' indeed: Watch Britain boldly move forward Labour's loss should tell Democrats not to tack too far to the left Is Corbyn handing Brexit to Boris Johnson? MORE, Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauTrump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, gloves Canada's Trudeau says US blockage of medical exports would be a mistake Trudeau worried supplies meant for Canada have been diverted to US MORE and French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronCOVID-19 — a make-it or break-it moment for the European Union US inaction is hurting the chance for peace in Libya Officials say Paris hospitals will be hit hard following coronavirus spike MORE. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also in attendance.

Trump and Merkel met for what the White House called a "brief pull-aside" at a reception following the ceremony.

The event opened with a band and chorus performance, and a video of interviews with D-Day veterans recalling the invasion laid over images of the operation. About a dozen veterans then took the stage to applause.

“It’s right that the courage and sacrifice of so many is being honored 75 years on. We must never forget,” said John Jenkins, a veteran who was 23 when he landed on one of the beaches.

The Portsmouth ceremony lasted roughly 90 minutes, and concluded with a flyover by the Royal Air Force.

Wednesday's commemoration came at the end of Trump's state visit to the United Kingdom, and one day before a larger event in Normandy that will mark the actual anniversary of the allied invasion. 

Updated at 8:52 a.m.