'He's the greatest kisser!': WW2 veteran, 100, marries his 96-year-old bride near D-Day beaches

Harold Terens, and Jeanne Swerlin, 96, celebrate their D-Day wedding. Credit: AP

A Second World War veteran, 100, married his 96-year-old bride in a French town near the Normandy beaches in a D-Day anniversary wedding that drew crowds of well-wishers - and the attention presidents.

Americans Harold Terens and Jeanne Swerlin tied the knot in Carentan, one of the towns in northern France that felt the brunt of fighting after the June 6, 1944, Allied landings that helped free Europe from Nazi occupation.

Carentan's mayor, Jean-Pierre Lhonneur has previously said Normandy is practically the 51st state of the USA, given its gratitude for Allied soldiers and the sacrifices of tens of thousands who never made it home from the Battle of Normandy.

Harold Terens, 100, left, and Jeanne Swerlin, 96, arrive to celebrate their wedding at the town hall of Carentan-les-Marais, in Normandy. Credit: AP

Nearly 160,000 Allied troops landed on the Normandy coast 80 years ago under fire on five code-named beaches. Over the past few days, world leaders joined veterans from Allied forces to remember the deeds and sacrifices of young men and women of did not come back from those beaches.

On Saturday, locals and visitors turned out to see Mr Terens and Ms Swerlin married.

“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 said as he and his bride clinked champagne glasses.

The lovebirds were invited to Élysée Palace on Saturday night with French president Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden, the town's mayor, Mr Lhonneur said.

Ms Swerlin declared her new husband, "the greatest kisser ever", to the assembled TV cameras.

The couple, both widowed, grew up in New York City.

Terens arrived in France as a 20-year-old US. Army Air Forces corporal shortly after D-Day. He was sent to Britain ahead of the operation and was attached to a four-pilot P-47 Thunderbolt fighter unit as their radio repair technician.

He helped transport captured Germans and just-freed American POWs to England. Following the Nazi surrender in May 1945, Terens again helped transport freed Allied prisoners to England before he shipped back to the US a month later.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know