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Michelin Flies WWII Veterans to Normandy for D-Day Event

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“Going to Normandy and experiencing the World War II liberation commemorations is one thing, but then to bring 29 WWII veterans back – eight of whom served in the theater and during that time – was incredibly special,” says David Chapman, vice president, government and defense, Michelin. 

| Photo Credit: Michelin

Michelin North America Inc. recently teamed up with Delta Airlines and a non-profit, Best Defense Organization, to bring 29 World War II Veterans back to the beaches of Normandy, France, 78 years after D-Day. 


The trip was spurred by a film called, “The Girl Who Wore Freedom,” which is a documentary about the battle on the beaches of Normandy and how it impacted the lives of French civilians in Nazi-occupied France. 


David Chapman, vice president, government and defense, said the planning for this trip started about a year ago and the effect on both the veterans and Michelin personnel was incredible. 


“Going to Normandy and experiencing the World War II liberation commemorations is one thing, but then to bring 29 WWII veterans back – eight of whom served in the theater and during that time – was incredibly special,” says Chapman. 


On the second-to-last day of the trip, the veterans visited a school in Bayeux, France. Chapman says when the veterans entered the school it sounded like a rock concert. “Everyone was going crazy.” 


The students prepared for the veterans’ visit for five months and gave them letters and hand-drawn pictures. They even staged a musical and buried a time capsule filled with tokens from the veterans that the class of 2032 will open. 


“The WWII veterans … after 70 years, can’t believe the outpouring of love and support they get from the people of France,” says Chapman. 


Chapman says Michelin wants to host events like this every year to honor all veterans - not just WWII veterans - while they are still here and able to travel. 


“That just sums up our care for veterans.”



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