From the S&S archives: Monty comes back to Falaise in fete marking invasion
June 5, 2006
FALAISE, Normandy, June 4 — Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery, under whose command Allied ground forces liberated Normandy five years ago, was welcomed back today by the citizens of Falaise, the town where the back of German resistance in Normandy was broken.
Montgomery's arrival marked the beginning of weekend ceremonies commemorating the fifth anniversary of D-Day.
It coincided with the arrival at Caen of a group of 45 U.S. newspapermen who hit the beaches with Allied invasion troops in 1944. They are starting on a tour which will retrace the path of the German retreat right to Berlin.
As Montgomery walked through the streets of this still-battered town, he was wearing his famous black beret. He saluted and waved to the crowds lining the streets.
As he passed the statue of William the Conquerer, who was born in Falaise, Montgomery was bombarded with showers of confetti and flowers tossed by children and oldsters alike.
Along the route the former 21st Army Group commander paused to examine decorations worn by Falaisien veterans of both world wars, many of whose eyes shone with tears as he spoke to them.
Later, at the city hall, Montgomery addressed a crowd of 2,500 persons.
Tomorrow newsmen will tour the invasion area, attending ceremonies at Omaha and Utah beachheads and at St. Lo.
On D-Day they will meet Montgomery in ceremonies at British invasion beaches, and will then drive to Paris, where they are scheduled to meet French President Vincent Auriol and U.S. Ambassador David K. E. Bruce.
From Paris they are scheduled to proceed later in the week to Luxembourg, Ardennes, Wiesbaden Frankfurt and Berlin.