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On 80th anniversary of D-Day invasion, Biden and Macron honor WWII veterans at Normandy • Missouri Independent



On 80th anniversary of D-Day invasion, Biden and Macron honor WWII veterans at Normandy • Missouri Independent

WASHINGTON — “They had been courageous, they had been resolute, they had been prepared,” President Joe Biden stated Thursday on the Normandy American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Seashore, one in all 5 alongside France’s northern coast the place Allied troops invaded in 1944 and turned the tide in World Warfare II.

Biden and dozens of U.S. lawmakers traveled to Normandy to commemorate the eightieth anniversary of the D-Day invasion, the biggest land, air and sea operation in army historical past.

Greater than 150,000 troops from america, Britain and Canada landed on the seashores on June 6, starting a monthslong battle that finally liberated Europe from Nazi Germany.

Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron honored almost a dozen D-Day survivors and different World Warfare II veterans on a stage set earlier than an infinite crowd that included service members, U.S. officers, members of Congress and Hollywood’s Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, who dramatized searing World Warfare II scenes on movie.

Caretakers and active-duty army members helped the veterans stand earlier than Macron as he pinned France’s Légion d’Honneur, its highest army honor, on their shoulders. Biden shook every veteran’s hand upon receiving the medal.

Amongst these honored on stage had been Hilbert Margol of Georgia, John Wardell of New Jersey, Robert Pedigo of Indiana, Calvin Shiner of California, Edward Berthold of Illinois, Dominick Critelli of New York, Invoice Casassa of Kansas, Victor Chaney of Indiana, Raymond Glansberg of Florida, Richard Stewart of Ohio and Jack Kinyon of Illinois.

Roughly 20 miles east, Macron introduced the identical honor to British veterans at a separate occasion attended by King Charles III and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on the British Normandy Memorial overlooking Gold Seashore, in accordance to reporters on the ceremony.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a speech at close by Juno Seashore, in accordance to reporters current.

‘Bands of brothers’ attend

Biden and first girl Jill Biden met with 41 veterans from the Normandy marketing campaign, 33 of whom served on D-Day, in accordance with reporters touring with the president. Biden gave every a commemorative coin bearing the presidential seal and pictures of troops on the seashores of Normandy.

About 180 American WWII veterans attended the ceremony, in accordance with reporters current.

Many veterans, over or approaching age 100, sat on a shaded stage in wheelchairs, coated in blue blankets and sporting pink, white and blue scarves.

Miniature American and French flags fluttered beside every white marble cross and Star of David within the rows and rows that mark hundreds of Individuals laid to relaxation in Colleville-sur-Mer, France.

Greater than 9,300 Individuals are buried on the 172.5-acre cemetery. Simply over 300 headstones are marked unknown. A Wall of the Lacking bears almost 1,600 names of Individuals declared lacking or misplaced at sea.

“Many, to state the apparent, by no means got here residence. Many survived that longest day and stored on combating for months till victory was lastly received. And some notable bands of brothers are right here with us at present,” Biden stated in the course of the ceremony that was livestreamed by a number of shops, together with C-SPAN.

Greater than 4,400 Allied troops died on the primary day of the invasion, together with 2,501 Individuals.

“Simply stroll the rows of the cemetery as I had. Almost 10,000 heroes buried aspect by aspect — officers and enlisted, immigrants and native born, totally different races, totally different faiths, however all Individuals, all served with honor,” Biden stated.

‘Isolationism was not the reply’

The day was laden with reminders that Russia’s floor invasion in Ukraine is ongoing.

Whereas Russia fought as an ally within the Battle of Normandy, shoring up the Japanese entrance, its modern-day President Vladimir Putin continues its assault and land seize in Ukraine.

“Isolationism was not the reply 80 years in the past, and it’s not the reply at present,” Biden stated to applause.

“We all know the darkish forces that these heroes fought towards 80 years in the past. They by no means fade — aggression and greed, the need to dominate and management, to vary borders by drive,” Biden stated, referring to Russia’s Putin. “These are perennial, the wrestle between a dictatorship and freedom is never-ending.”

“The truth that they (WWII veterans) had been heroes right here that day doesn’t absolve us from what now we have to do at present. Democracy is rarely assured,” Biden stated.

Biden stated the U.S. “is not going to stroll away” from Ukraine.

“As a result of if we do, Ukraine shall be subjugated, and it’ll not finish there,” Biden stated.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attended a separate D-Day occasion at Omaha Seashore, in accordance with White Home press corps reporters who traveled with Biden to his second occasion of the day.

The most recent $60 billion safety package deal for Ukraine took six months to clear Congress due to robust opposition on the far-right.

Biden stated NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Group shaped 4 years after WWII that now counts greater than 30 member states, is the “the best army alliance within the historical past of the world.”

Precipitated by Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, two further European nations joined the alliance in 2023 and 2024 — Finland, which shares an extended land border with Russia, and Sweden, simply throughout the Baltic Sea.

The alliance has been the goal of criticism from presumed 2024 Republican presidential nominee and former President Donald Trump. Notably in February, Trump stated in a CNN interview that he would encourage Russia “to do regardless of the hell they need” to NATO nations, relying on their monetary contributions to the alliance.

U.S. Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin stated throughout transient remarks Thursday that Allied nations should “once more stand agency towards aggression and tyranny” and “uphold the spirit of D-Day.”

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