City Observes 72nd D-Day Anniversary with Moving Tribute

Karen Matthews, left, describes her uncle’s heroism during D-Day as Mayor James J. Fiorentini and other participants listen. (Courtesy photograph).

Participants during the city’s World War II D-Day observance Monday were moved by a talk by Karen Matthews, who told of her uncle’s participation in the European invasion when 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline in 1944.

Matthews said her uncle, William Partain, was among those who landed and fought at the beaches of Normandy. She expressed her pride in his fierce bravery and dedication to his country during that pivotal battle.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini joined local veterans during the ceremony at Haverhill’s World War II monument in Washington Square.

“We were appreciative of Karen Matthews, the niece of a World War II soldier, telling us about her connection to D-Day,” the mayor said. “We would like to thank all of our veterans from before World War II and beyond for their service and loyalty to our great country.”

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