WASHINGTON – Shot through by German machine-gun bullets and tattered by the wind, an American flag that flew on the first U.S. invading ship on D-Day bought her home on Thursday in a White House ceremony.
The flag handover was a significant part of the go-to to the White House by Mark Rutte, prime minister of the Netherlands, who held Oval Office talks with President Donald Trump.
The flag has been owned by retired Dutch businessman and artwork collector Bert Kreuk, who paid $514,000 for it at public sale three years up to now with the intention of donating it to the United States.
“I cannot keep it myself. It needs to go to the right institution. I need to give it back,” Kreuk talked about in a cellphone interview ahead of the ceremony, at which he spoke.
The flag is to be positioned on present on the Smithsonian Institution.
The 48-star flag was on the U.S. Navy’s Landing Craft Control 60, which was one among three advance ships directing troops onto Utah Beach on the Normandy coast on June 6, 1944.
The LCC 60 was the one among many three to complete its mission inside the chaos of D-Day.
The ship and its 14-member crew had been commanded by U.S. Navy Lieutenant Howard Vander Beek, a one-time Iowa teacher who launched the flag home from the warfare and saved it in his basement until he died in 2014.
“It is my honor to welcome this great American flag back home where it belongs,” talked about Trump, who known as it a “reminder of the supreme sacrifice of our warriors and the beautiful friendship between the Dutch and the American people.”
To Kreuk, 54, the flag represented the liberation effort that saved his family from Nazi rule all through World War Two. He talked about the misplaced relations all through a German bombing raid on Rotterdam in 1940.
Kreuk talked about his donation of the flag is geared towards remembering World War Two. “For many of you, this will be the first time that you will see the flag,” nevertheless for lots of on D-Day, “it was the last time.”
Trump attended ceremonies in Normandy on June 6 marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.