Senator Reed Joins World Leaders & U.S. Veterans in France for D-Day 80th Anniversary & 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 was held at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, overlooking Omaha Beach in northwestern France.

On that fateful morning 80 years ago, over 31,000 members of the United States 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. The first day of the operation saw approximately 10,000 Allied soldiers wounded or killed, including 6,000 Americans.

Reflecting on the bravery and sacrifice of the soldiers, Senator Reed expressed his deep gratitude. “I have the great privilege of honoring Americans who, on June 6, 1944 – D-Day – invaded the continent of Europe 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 sustain democracy, to give the world a chance to be peaceful and prosperous, and to give the next generation the opportunity to live in that prosperity.”

Senator Reed, a former member of the 82nd Airborne Division, highlighted the significance of D-Day for the current generation. “It is important we recognize and remember D-Day because it stands for the combined strength of democracies versus autocracies. It stands for individual courage and gallantry. It stands for service above self. It stands for those values that make this nation great.”

The 82nd Airborne Division played a crucial role in the success of D-Day, with paratroopers landing behind enemy lines to secure beach exits. “They fought tenaciously, sometimes individuals coming together and fighting hard without commanders but with the will of America 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’ll celebrate their story, and the stories of so many others. But now is the moment to reflect and to honor those who served on that historic day,” he said.

The ceremony at 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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