PARIS (AP) — France's president has honored veterans and fallen soldiers — mostly Moroccans — who freed Corsica from the Nazis 70 years ago in World War II.
Francois Hollande offered a rare tribute to the "goumiers" — soldiers from Morocco, a former French colony — saying they "will never fade from memory. They were known for skills fighting in mountains like Corsica's.
The 6,600 Moroccans accounted for the bulk of the fighting force that freed Corsica on Oct. 4, 1943. The Mediterranean island became the first part of French territory freed from the Nazis. The liberation of Corsica has long been overlooked in comparison to the famed Allied landings in Normandy eight months later.
Seven Moroccan veterans between the ages of 95 and 104 were on hand for the ceremony.