The June 6th, 1944, landing of the allied forces on the Normandy beaches of France was the pivotal event of the Second World War. On the sixtieth anniversary of the D-Day landing, President George W. Bush traveled to Normandy and paid tribute to those who died and those who survived:
“All who are buried and named in this place are held in the loving memory of America. We pray in the peace of this cemetery that they have reached the far shore of God's mercy. And we still look with pride on the men of D-Day, on those who served and went on.”
The operation to invade Europe and defeat the German Nazi forces, says President Bush, was planned only as a victory. And it was a victory; at the end of the day, more than one-hundred-fifty thousand allied soldiers had breached Adolf Hitler’s Atlantic Wall, and the turning point of the Second World War in Europe had begun.
Across Europe, the United States shared the battle with Britons, Canadians, Poles, free French, and brave citizens from other lands taken back one by one from Nazi rule. From that sacrifice, says President Bush, they became inseparable allies:
"The nations that liberated a conquered Europe would stand together for the freedom of all of Europe. The nations that battled across the continent would become trusted partners in the cause of peace. And our great alliance of freedom is strong, and it is still needed today."
That alliance is now playing an essential role in the war against international terrorism. Civilized nations are united in that cause, just as they were united sixty years ago.
The allied forces who stormed the beaches at Normandy on June 6th, 1944, fought for the noblest of causes -- human freedom. America honors all the liberators who fought, and says President Bush, “America would do it again for our friends.”