WASHINGTON – Seventy-five years later, the United States has recovered an American flag that flew through one of the most horrific and important days in U.S. history: D-Day.
“It will tell visitors from around the world about the story of freedom,” President Donald Trump said in accepting the flag from Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte during a White House ceremony on Thursday.
The flag, pierced by German bullet holes and tattered by the wind, flew aboard one of the landing crafts that troops used to storm the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.
The success of that mission allowed the U.S. and allies to re-take Europe from Nazi control.
In presenting the flag once owned by a Dutch businessman, Rutte called it "a symbol of the close bond" between the U.S. and the Netherlands.
The flag will soon be on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
Lonnie Bunch, the new secretary of the Smithsonian, called it a "wonderful gift" that speaks to people today.
“These artifacts teach us lessons about our history and ourselves," Bunch said.
Trump said the flag is also a tribute to Americans who lost their lives in World War II.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump accepts American flag from Netherlands that flew on D-Day 75