Seventy-five years ago today, more than 4400 Allied soldiers gave their lives to free Europe from the grasp of a madman. The greatest invasion force ever launched spelled the end for Nazi Germany, but not before a lot of young men made the ultimate sacrifice for victory. With most of D-Day’s veterans gone and more leaving us every day, this will likely be the last milestone anniversary to honor them directly, as well as their fallen comrades.
Leaders from all over the world gathered today in remembrance and gratitude:
Today we remember D-Day.
75 years ago, the largest amphibious assault ever was launched, paving the way for Germany’s defeat in World War II. #DDay75thAnniversary https://t.co/ByTlwT5ndl pic.twitter.com/gRTjsswHnm
— CNN International (@cnni) June 6, 2019
“France does not forget all these fighters to whom it owes its freedom,” French president Emmanuel Macron said in French, but later switched to English. “We know what we owe to you veterans,” Macron said in an emotional conclusion. “On behalf of my nation, I just want to say thank you,” he said, turning around to salute the veterans gathered behind him:
Donald Trump also saluted the veterans and the Allies, calling the site “freedom’s altar.” Trump called the US veterans “the glory of our republic,” and noted that they “did not just win a war,” but “won a future for our nation.” Notably, Trump called the invasion “a great crusade,” a phrase that had been downplayed in recent years after the 9/11 attacks:
It’s really not a day for partisan considerations, and thankfully the heads of government gathered there and most of the media understood that. Mika Brzezinski complimented Trump on “a really good speech” at this memorial:
Trump’s speech “…measured up to the moment and really was a true salute to the unity of this day…It was a really good speech.” — @morningmika pic.twitter.com/VYjHHzGatS
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) June 6, 2019
Macron’s heartfelt thanks captured the spirit of the day. France does not forget, and neither should anyone else. Not the nations that the invasion helped free from the grasp of genocidal totalitarians, and not the aspirational madmen who think that civilized nations have forgotten why we needed the sacrifices of D-Day. The men who charged those beaches on that day were our greatest generation, but liberty produces such men and women when the need arises.
From the bottom of our hearts to those who died and those who lived on D-Day: Thank you for the liberty we still enjoy.
The Washington Post has a complete video of the three-and-a-half hour event below.