In Normandy, Langevin and Whitehouse Honor RI WWII Veterans on 75th D-Day Anniversary

Jun 6, 2019 Issues: Armed Services, Veterans
In Normandy, Langevin and Whitehouse Honor RI WWII Veterans on 75th D-Day Anniversary

NORMANDY – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Jim Langevin today attended an official ceremony in Normandy, France to mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of D-Day.  President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron also took part in the ceremony at the American Cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer.

At the event, Whitehouse and Langevin met with World War II veterans from Rhode Island and across the United States who made the trip for the special occasion.  Members of the congressional delegation also met with General Tod Wolters, commander of U.S. European Command (EUCOM).

“The world will never forget the day 75 years ago when Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy in the name of liberty and freedom. These heroes prevailed against tyranny and forever changed the course of history,” said Langevin, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. “It was a distinct privilege to join my Congressional colleagues in Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Today, we remembered those who lost their lives in this historic battle, and we honored those who are still with us and lived to share their stories from that fateful day.”

“It is an honor to mark this solemn anniversary in the presence of a few of the brave men who came ashore on this day seventy-five years ago,” said Whitehouse.  “They landed on the beaches of Normandy in the face of withering hostile fire from an entrenched enemy, knowing with certainty that many would not survive.  What Allied forces accomplished here set in motion Europe’s liberation from the Nazi yoke, but it came at a great cost.  I’m thinking today of the young Rhode Islanders – many of them teenagers – who were lost on June 6, 1944, as well as those who survived and carried the memory of that day with them.  We honor their sacrifice by remaining committed to our democratic ideals—and to the free and peaceful Europe these men, alongside our allies, fought and died for.”

On June 6, 1944, Allied forces assaulted the heavily-defended beaches of Normandy, France as part of Operation Overlord.  The joint naval, air, and land assault launched on “D-Day,” as it is commonly referred to today, established an Allied beachhead on the European continent and began an 11-month campaign to liberate Nazi-occupied Europe.  More than 6,000 Americans died that day, but their sacrifice and heroism marked the beginning of the end of World War II.

The D-Day anniversary ceremony was attended by more than 150 veterans, U.S. elected officials, U.S. armed service members, and dignitaries from our allied partners in the French government.