100yo US WWII Veteran Marries His 96yo Fiancée in Normandy, France, Near the D-Day Beaches

“True love comes to those who patiently wait.” This is a quote that has been proven for a long time. Some believe, but others do otherwise. Recently, news went viral of a 100-year-old American World War II veteran who married his 96-year-old fiancee in Normandy, just a few days after attending the 80th anniversary of the Normandy Landing in northwestern France.

Harold Terens and his fiancée, Jeanne Swerlin, finally wed in the town of Carentan-les-Marais. The event was attended by dozens of guests, some of whom were wearing military uniforms. Love and happiness filled the air on June 8, with songs such as “I Will Always Love You” and “Ave Maria” and music played on bagpipes to uplift the mood at the event.

On their wedding night, the newlyweds attended a state banquet at the Elysee Palace with French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden. “Today, Harold and Jeanne chose to get married in France. They are part of us. Congratulations to the newlyweds!” Harold Terens was awarded the French Legion of Honor by President Macron in 2019.

In an interview before the wedding, Jeanne said, “I waited 96 years to find the right man, and now I have a wedding that only queens and kings can have.”

Harold and Jeanne, who live in Boca Raton, Florida, got married in Carentan-les-Marais in Normandy, where Allied troops invaded 80 years ago in Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, and changed the Second World War. Harold walked into the wedding hall in a light blue suit, where family and friends greeted him with applause. “I feel young again. This is the best time of my life,” Harold said.

People were chanting, “La mariée!” — the bride! — to Jeanne, who was wearing a long, vibrant pink dress. “It’s not just for young people, love, you know?” Jeanne giggled. “We get butterflies. And we get a little action, also.”

During World War II, Harold participated in missions to Soviet Ukraine via Casablanca, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Cairo, Baghdad, and Tehran. After the war, Harold married his first wife, Thelma. They spent 70 years together and had 3 children. Thelma passed away in 2018.

In 2021, a friend introduced him to Jeanne Swerlin, also a widow. The 2 were inseparable since.

“She makes my life meaningful,” Harold said in an interview in Florida last May. Jeanne also had praise for Harold and said, “He’s so handsome. He’s the greatest kisser ever, you know?”

The wedding was symbolic, not binding in law. The local mayor admitted he does not have the power to wed foreigners who aren’t residents of Carentan. Harold and Jeanne are American citizens and did not request legally binding vows. However, they can hold a formal wedding back in Florida if the couple wishes to do so.

Images Credit: Jeremias Gonzalez

Credit: © Sinchew Daily

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