Sunny Side of The Stream: 100-Year-Old D-Day Vet to Marry in Normandy

Jeanne Swerlin, 96, says the dress she has picked out for her wedding is pink.

By Published on March 16, 2024

Planning a wedding can feel a lot like planning an invasion. Just ask Harold Terens and his fiancé, Jeanne Swerlin. Like so many couples, they are planning a June wedding. And, like many couples, they are planning a destination wedding.

What’s different is that they are planning their June wedding to take place near Normandy, France — a place Terens knows well. Eighty years ago, he was there, taking part in the D-Day invasion.

Terens is a spry 100 year old. His intended bride is 96. The pair, both widowed, met in 2021. It was love on second sight, they tell the Associated Press. A friend of Swerlin set her up on a blind date with Terens, but there were no sparks — Terens, who was still grieving over the death of his wife, didn’t pay much attention to Swerlin. That didn’t sit well with his buddy, Stanley Eisenberg; he insisted on taking the pair to dinner the following evening because he wanted to meet the woman Terens was turning down.

In that meeting, Harold felt a spark — big time. He told NewsNation, “I lost control of myself.”

“I touched her, and something sort of electric went through my body, and I couldn’t eat, and I couldn’t speak,” he said.

“He was introducing me to the whole world, ‘I want you to meet my girl, my sweetheart,’ and I didn’t even know him more than two days,” Swerlin later told the Associated Press, laughing. “Being in love is not just for the young. We get butterflies just like everybody else.”

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When Terens knelt to propose a few months ago, “I thought I’d have to help him up, but he’s so macho,” Swerlin said.

“I was married 70 years to the same woman, and Jeanne was the second woman I ever knew in my life that meant anything to me,” Terens told NewsNation.

The couple plan on attending D-Day ceremonies June 6 before their June 8 wedding in Carentan-les-Marais. Legally, Mayor Pierre Lhonneur is only supposed to officiate the weddings of local residents, but believes the town prosecutor will allow an exception for this American war hero.

“It will be a pleasure for us,” he said.

 

Aliya Kuykendall is a staff writer and proofreader for The Stream. Follow her on X @AliyaKuykendall and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

Al Perrotta is managing editor of The Stream, coauthor with John Zmirak of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and coauthor of the counterterrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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