In a heartwarming celebration that underscores the timeless nature of love and commitment, 100-year-old World War II veteran Harold Terens married his 96-year-old sweetheart, Jeanne Swerlin, near the historic D-Day beaches of Normandy, France. The wedding, held at the town hall of Carentan—a site of significant wartime history—took place just two days after the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Harold Terens and Jeanne Swerlin, both New York City natives, have shown that love is ageless. Terens, hailing from the Bronx, and Swerlin, originally from Brooklyn, have been inseparable since they started dating in 2021. Their union, symbolic and steeped in the legacy of a generation that endured and overcame unimaginable trials, serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring human spirit.

The town of Carentan, renowned for the pivotal World War II battle between US and German forces, was a fitting backdrop for this special occasion. Onlookers, some dressed in WWII-era clothing, gathered at the town hall well in advance to offer their congratulations. The ceremony was complemented by the melodic tunes of a pipe and drum band, adding a touch of nostalgia and reverence to the event.

Jeanne Swerlin, adorned in a long pink dress, expressed the boundless nature of love with a twinkle in her eye. “It’s not just for young people, love, you know? We get butterflies. And we get a little action, also,” she said, capturing the playful and genuine affection that characterizes their relationship.

While the vows were officiated by Carentan’s mayor, Jean-Pierre Lhonneur, and read in English, the couple embraced the local culture by saying “Oui,” the French equivalent of “I do.” Although the ceremony was symbolic and not legally binding due to local regulations, its emotional significance was undeniable.

Following the ceremony, Terens proposed a heartfelt toast to the gathered crowd, reflecting his values and hopes for the future. “To everybody’s good health. And to peace in the world and the preservation of democracy all over the world and the end of the war in Ukraine and Gaza,” he declared, embodying the wisdom and perspective gained from a century of life experiences.

The newlyweds continued their celebration as guests of honor at a prestigious dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron. The event, also attended by President Joe Biden, was a testament to the couple’s remarkable journey and the broader historical context of their union.

Harold Terens’ wartime service is a testament to the bravery and sacrifice of the Greatest Generation. Enlisting in 1942, Terens was deployed to Great Britain the following year, serving as a radio repair technician for a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter squadron. His experiences on D-Day, repairing planes and witnessing the heavy losses among Allied pilots, are a sobering reminder of the cost of freedom.

Despite the solemn memories of war, the wedding day was filled with joy and unabashed affection. Jeanne Swerlin, with characteristic spunk, remarked, “He’s the greatest kisser ever, you know?” before sharing a passionate embrace with her new husband.

In a world often fraught with division and strife, the love story of Harold Terens and Jeanne Swerlin shines as a beacon of hope and resilience. Their marriage near the historic D-Day beaches not only honors the past but also celebrates the enduring power of love to transcend age, time, and adversity.