Senator Reed Joins World Leaders and American Veterans in France for the 80th Anniversary and D-Day Remembrance Ceremony

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, traveled to Normandy today to honor the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, which took place on June 6, 1944.

Senator Reed joined a bipartisan Congressional delegation that included President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Britain’s King Charles III, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, World War II veterans and other dignitaries. The solemn ceremony took place at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, overlooking Omaha Beach in northwestern France.

On that fateful morning 80 years ago, more than 31,000 members of the U.S. Armed Forces, alongside 153,000 troops from the Allied Expeditionary Force, launched Operation Overlord. They stormed ashore at five landing zones along the beaches of Normandy. D-Day marked a pivotal moment in World War II, ultimately leading to the liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany. On the first day of the operation, approximately 10,000 Allied soldiers were wounded or killed, including 6,000 Americans.

Reflecting on the soldiers’ bravery and sacrifice, Senator Reed expressed his deep gratitude. “I have the great privilege of honoring Americans who invaded the European continent on June 6, 1944 – D-Day – to begin the final destruction of the Third Reich,” he said. “They were young Americans, and Canadians, and British, and French – they were united in a single purpose: to preserve democracy, to give the world a chance to be peaceful and prosperous, and to give the next generation a chance to live in a country to live in. that prosperity.”

Senator Reed, a former member of the 82nd Airborne Division, emphasized the significance of D-Day for today’s generation. “It is important that we recognize and commemorate D-Day because it represents the combined power of democracies versus autocracies. It stands for individual courage and bravery. It stands for service above yourself. It represents the values ​​that make this nation great.”

The 82nd Airborne Division played a crucial role in the success of D-Day, landing paratroopers behind enemy lines to secure the beach exits. “They fought tenaciously, sometimes individuals came together and fought hard without commanders, but with America’s will to prevail,” Reed noted.

As dignitaries and veterans gathered to commemorate the historic day, Reed emphasized the importance of reflecting on the legacy of those who served. “We will celebrate their story, and the stories of so many others. But now is the time to reflect and honor those who served on that historic day,” he said.

The ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial serves as a poignant reminder of the courage and sacrifice of those who fought for freedom and democracy on the beaches of Normandy 80 years ago.

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