Greatest Hallmark Movie Ever - Days After D-Day Honoring, WWII Veteran, 100, Gets 'Married'


In a hopeful act that seems right out of a Hallmark movie, 100-year-old World War II veteran Harold Terens exchanged wedding vows with his 96-year-old sweetheart, Jeanne Swerlin, last week during the 80th anniversary of D-Day commemorations in France.

CBS News reported the native New Yorkers, both widowed, met three years ago in Boca Raton, Florida, where they now live.

“Being in love is not just for the young,” Swerlin said.

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The couple had a wedding ceremony on Saturday at the Carentan-les-Marais town hall, not far from the beach landing sites for American forces on D-Day, according to The Associated Press.

Terens called it “the best day of my life.”

Carentan-les-Marais Mayor Jean-Pierre Lhonneur conducted the ceremony in English, though Terens and Swerlin each responded with the French “oui” to the marriage vows.

The AP noted, “The wedding was symbolic, not binding in law. Mayor Jean-Pierre Lhonneur’s office said he wasn’t empowered to wed foreigners who aren’t residents of Carentan, and that the couple, who are both American, hadn’t requested legally binding vows. However, they could always complete those formalities back in Florida if they wished.”

The two later attended a state dinner at Elysee Palace in Paris hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, and attended by President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden.

Macron congratulated Terens and Swerlin at the event and wished them a happy life together.

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Swerlin told Agence France-Presse ahead of their ceremony, “Being in this famous situation, like, it’s unreal. I mean to have this at my age, to have this fun and excitement, due to him.”

“And I’m glad I fell in love with him not knowing he was … a World War II hero,” she said.

“I’ve never loved like I love this girl,” Terens said. “She lights up my life. She makes everything beautiful. She makes life worth living. She’s everything I’ve always wanted and I’ve got it now, and I’m never letting her go.”

Terens was 20 when he served in the Army Air Corps during the D-Day operation on June 6, 1944. He repaired planes in England on the day of the invasion.

He told the AP that half of his company’s pilots died that day.

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Twelve days after the initial landings, Terens flew to France to help transport captured German POWs and newly freed American POWs back to England.

The Normandy invasion was the largest amphibious operation undertaken in the history of warfare.

The battle — which occurred on a 50-mile stretch — came nearly five years after German dictator Adolf Hitler plunged the world into war when his Nazi forces invaded and occupied much of Europe.

The Allies amassed more than 156,000 troops, nearly 7,000 ships and 11,000-plus aircraft for the operation, according to the Department of Defense.

The D-Day plan involved crossing the English Channel and making landings on five Normandy beach sites, as well as dropping paratroopers from the 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions behind enemy lines.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith