Éditoriaux Défense Sécurité Terrorisme Zones de conflits Logistique Livres de référence Liens
Terre Air Mer Gendarmerie Renseignement Infoguerre Cyber Recherche


Obama: Normandy was ‘Democracy’s Beachhead’

By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service.
Washington D.C. – (AFPS) – June 6, 2014 – Normandy represents democracy’s beachhead, President Barack Obama said today in remarks commemorating the 70th anniversary of the allied invasion of France, a turning point in World War II that he said “decided not just a century but shaped the security and well being of all posterity.”

U.S. President Barack Obama thanks French President Francois Hollande for his remarks at the Normandy American Cemetery

The air, land and sea invasion of Normandy 70 years ago today, considered the largest amphibious assault in military history, turned the tide in the allies’ defeat of the Nazis and established liberty and freedom as a birthright in Europe.

French President Francois Hollande delivers remarks at the Normandy American Cemetery

“It was here, on these shores, that the tide was turned in that common struggle for freedom,” the president said during ceremonies at Omaha Beach. “Omaha -- Normandy -- this was democracy’s beachhead. And our victory in that war decided not just a century, but shaped the security and well-being of all posterity. We worked to turn old adversaries into new allies. We built new prosperity. We stood once more with the people of this continent through a long twilight struggle until finally a wall tumbled down, and an Iron Curtain, too.”

From Western Europe toward the East and from South America to Southeast Asia, the democratic movement spread, the president said.

World War II veterans pay tribute to U.S. President Barack Obama at the Normandy American Cemetery

“None of that would have happened without the men who were willing to lay down their lives for people they’d never met and ideals they couldn’t live without,” Obama said. “None of it would have happened without the troops President Roosevelt called “the life-blood of America -- the hope of the world.”

Obama singled out three veterans who returned to Normandy for the commemoration as representatives of the millions who served in the U.S. military during the war. “Whenever the world makes you cynical, stop and think of these men,” Obama said. “Whenever you lose hope, stop and think of these men.”

President Barack Obama greets veterans during a commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy France, June 6, 2014

He spoke of Wilson Colwell, “who was told he couldn’t pilot a plane without a high school degree, so he decided to jump out of a plane instead. And he did, here on D-Day, with the 101st Airborne when he was just 16 years old.” He spoke of Harry Kulkowitz, the Jewish son of Russian immigrants, who fudged his age at enlistment so he could join his friends in the fight. He spoke of “Rock” Merritt “who saw a recruitment poster asking him if he was man enough to be a paratrooper -- so he signed up on the spot. That decision landed him here on D-Day with the 508th regiment, a unit that would suffer heavy casualties.”

U.S. President Barack Obama and WWII veterans render honors as U.S. Army color guard presents the colors at the Normandy American Cemetery

Obama spoke to the three veterans, telling them that their legacy is in good hands. “In a time when it has never been more tempting to pursue narrow self-interest, to slough off common endeavor, this generation of Americans, a new generation -- our men and women of war -- have chosen to do their part as well,” the president said.

“This 9/11 Generation of service members, they, too, felt something,” Obama said. “They, too, chose to serve a cause that’s greater than self -- many even after they knew they’d be sent into harm’s way. And for more than a decade, they have endured tour after tour.”

Today’s wars will end and the veterans of today will take their lessons from the World War II generation. “They, too, will become leaders in their communities, in commerce, in industry and perhaps politics -- the leaders we need for the beachheads of our time,” the president said.

 DOD photo by Marvin Lynchard

“And, God willing, they, too, will grow old in the land they helped to keep free,” Obama added. “And someday, future generations, whether 70 or 700 years hence, will gather at places like this to honor them and to say that these were generations of men and women who proved once again that the United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.”

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @garamoneAFPS) : Contact Author

Related Sites:
Special Report: 70th Anniversary of D-Day and the Invasion of Normandy
Special Report: A Persistent Presence – America’s Continued Commitment to European Security

Related Articles:



Derniers articles

Verdun 2016 : La légende de la « tranchée des baïonnettes »
Eyes in the Dark: Navy Dive Helmet Display Emerges as Game-Changer
OIR Official: Captured Info Describes ISIL Operations in Manbij
Cyber, Space, Middle East Join Nuclear Triad Topics at Deterrence Meeting
Carter Opens Second DoD Innovation Hub in Boston
Triomphe de St-Cyr : le Vietnam sur les rangs
Dwight D. Eisenhower Conducts First OIR Missions from Arabian Gulf
L’amiral Prazuck prend la manœuvre de la Marine
Airmen Practice Rescuing Downed Pilots in Pacific Thunder 16-2
On ne lutte pas contre les moustiques avec une Kalachnikov...
Enemy Mine: Underwater Drones Hunt Buried Targets, Save Lives
Daesh Publications Are Translated Into Eleven Languages
Opération Chammal : 10 000 heures de vol en opération pour les Mirage 2000 basés en Jordanie
Le Drian : Daech : une réponse à plusieurs niveaux
Carter: Defense Ministers Agree on Next Steps in Counter-ISIL Fight
Carter Convenes Counter-ISIL Coalition Meeting at Andrews
Carter Welcomes France’s Increased Counter-ISIL Support
100-Plus Aircraft Fly in for Exercise Red Flag 16-3
Growlers Soar With B-1s Around Ellsworth AFB
A-10s Deploy to Slovakia for Cross-Border Training
We Don’t Fight Against Mosquitoes With a Kalashnikov
Bug-Hunting Computers to Compete in DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge
Chiefs of US and Chinese Navies Agree on Need for Cooperation
DoD Cyber Strategy Defines How Officials Discern Cyber Incidents from Armed Attacks
Vice Adm. Tighe Takes Charge of Information Warfare, Naval Intelligence
Truman Strike Group Completes Eight-Month Deployment
KC-46 Completes Milestone by Refueling Fighter Jet, Cargo Plane
Air Dominance and the Critical Role of Fifth Generation Fighters
Une nation est une âme
The Challenges of Ungoverned Spaces
Carter Salutes Iraqi Forces, Announces 560 U.S. Troops to Deploy to Iraq
Obama: U.S. Commitment to European Security is Unwavering in Pivotal Time for NATO
International Court to Decide Sovereignty Issue in South China Sea
La SPA 75 est centenaire !
U.S. to Deploy THAAD Missile Battery to South Korea
Maintien en condition des matériels : reprendre l’initiative
La veste « léopard », premier uniforme militaire de camouflage
Océan Indien 2016 : Opérations & Coopération
Truman Transits Strait of Gibraltar
Navy Unveils National Museum of the American Sailor
New Navy, Old Tar
Marcel Dassault parrain de la nouvelle promotion d’officiers de l’École de l’Air
RIMPAC 2016 : Ravitaillement à la mer pour le Prairial avant l’arrivée à Hawaii
Bataille de la Somme, l’oubliée
U.S., Iceland Sign Security Cooperation Agreement
Cléopatra : la frégate Jean Bart entre dans l’histoire du BPC Gamal Abdel Nasser
Surveiller l’espace maritime français aussi par satellite
America's Navy-Marine Corps Team Fuse for RIMPAC 2016
Stratégie France : Plaidoyer pour une véritable coopération franco-allemande
La lumière du Droit rayonne au bout du chemin

Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).