Czech president and veterans taking part in Normandy anniversary events

The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, and a group of Czech veterans flew from Prague’s military airport on Friday to Normandy, France, to take part in events marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day – the invasion by the Allies in mainland Europe and a pivotal moment in the war. The president gave a speech prior to their departure in which he thanked the Czech WW II vets and stated that freedom was not something forever guaranteed but something that needed to be continually fought for. The event was accompanied by military music and a display of Czech and Czechoslovak army standards. Mr Zeman’s spokesman on international affairs said the president will speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Normandy.