Charles Shay was the only veteran at a ceremony in Carentan, where paratroopers landed in the early hours of D-Day, when the small French town marked the 77th anniversary of the epic World War II invasion Friday.
He is also expected to be the sole representative of the more than 150,000 allied troops who landed on Normandy’s beaches at Sunday’s anniversary day ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer.
The 96-year-old Native American from Indian Island, Maine, now lives in the country he helped liberate from the Nazis as a 19-year-old Army medic.
Travel restrictions due to the pandemic are preventing other vets and families of the 4,414 who died in the battle from making the trip, The Associated Press reported.
“We have no visitors coming to France … for two years now,” Shay said. “And I hope it will be over soon.”
Shay is also expected to be the sole Normandy representative at Sunday’s anniversary day ceremony