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PARIS — Veterans representing a Denver-based charity met with President Donald Trump in France on Thursday as part of ceremonies to mark the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering World War I.
More than 200 people attended the service at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, including three World War II veterans who were part of a contingent from The Greatest Generations Foundation, a Denver charity that transports war heroes back to the battlefields where they served.
All three are survivors of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France. The veterans were Donald Cobb, 92 (USS Murphy), Steven Melnikoff, 97 (29th Infantry), and Joseph Reilly, 96 (101st Airborne).
Trump called the veterans “real heroes” who “fought for freedom in its hour of need.”
Timothy Davis of Denver is president of The Greatest Generations Foundation. He said the ceremony was an important reminder of the sacrifice of U.S. troops in World War I.
“We owe it to every one of them. Even though none of them are alive today, we owe it to all of them to clearly and unambiguously understand what the first World War was about, how it started, and vow upon their graves to never let it happen again,” Davis said.
The veterans shook hands with Trump and the first lady, the joint chiefs chairman, and Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford and the staff of the U.S. Embassy in France.
On Friday, they’ll meet with French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump and other world leaders to mark Bastille Day, which is similar to Independence Day in the United States.