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Biden delivers remarks in Normandy on 80th anniversary of D-Day

The president honored the veterans who served for the Allied Forces in World War II and spoke on the strength and stability of NATO as war is once again raging on European soil.
D-Day 80th Anniversary Biden
Posted at 8:09 AM, Jun 06, 2024

As the sun rose over the beaches of Normandy, France, world leaders gathered Thursday to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

President Joe Biden delivered remarks from the site where 73,000 U.S. forces landed on June 6, 1944, to begin the liberation of Europe from Nazi occupation and change the course of World War II. The president honored the veterans who served for the Allied Forces and spoke on the power of unity as the protector of world peace.

"What the allies did together 80 years ago far surpassed anything we could have done on our own," President Biden said. "It was a powerful illustration of how alliances — real alliances — make us stronger. A lesson that I pray we Americans never forget."

President Biden also spoke on the strength and stability of NATO as war is once again raging on European soil decades after the end of World War II.

"We're living in a time when democracy is more at risk across the world than any point since the end of World War II — since these beaches were stormed in 1944," he said. "Now we have to ask ourselves, will we stand against tyranny, against evil, against crushing brutality of the iron fist? Or will we stand for freedom, will we defend democracy, will we stand together? My answer is yes and only can be yes."

American D-Day veterans gather for a ceremony on Omaha Beach

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On Friday, President Biden will deliver remarks on freedom and democracy at Pointe du Hoc, France. The location marks the point between Omaha and Utah beaches where Army rangers scaled the cliffs against fortified German positions.

The speech is expected to connect Allied forces' efforts in World War II to defend freedom and democracy and the post-war international order to the order threatened by Russian president Vladimir Putin amid his continued war in Ukraine.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said President Biden will draw a line from the Cold War and establishment of NATO to the present day, when Europe deals with war and the alliance has rallied together.

“He’ll talk about the men who scaled those cliffs and how they put the country ahead of themselves, and he’ll talk about the dangers of isolationism and how if we back dictators, fail to stand up to them, they keep going and ultimately America and the world pays a greater price,” Sullivan said.

While the trip marks a departure from the campaign trail for President Biden, it marks the start of significant international engagement that will include attending the G7 summit in Italy next week.