MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Sunday, 20 French citizens were honored at the USS Yorktown in Mt. Pleasant.
Sainte Mere Eglise was the first town liberated during the D-Day invasion of Normandy and its residents also paid tribute to those who died away during the invasion.
The ceremony included speeches from the Executive Director of Patriots Point as well as the Mayor of Sainte Mere Eglise.
Maurice Renaud was given a flag that flew on the USS Laffey, the battleship at Patriot's Point and one of two surviving American ships from the invasion. Renaud's mother, known as the Mother of Normandy, sent thousands of letters to families whose loved ones died during the invasion and made sure their graves always had flowers on them. At the time, the town had three cemeteries with 13,000 graves.
"It was like a duty to take care of these graves and bring some real comfort to people," Renaud said. "At that time, people would not fly. It was very expensive to take a transatlantic ship, so they could not see the graves."
Renaud has taken up his mother's role and is now the president of the Friends of American Veterans in Sainte Mere Eglise.