At D-Day eightieth anniversary ceremony, Biden honor veterans, evokes Ukraine : NPR

Christophe Receveur, of France, unfurls an American flag he bought six months ago in Gettysburg, Pa., to mark D-Day on Thursday on Utah Beach, Normandy.

Christophe Receveur, of France, unfurls an American flag he purchased six months in the past in Gettysburg, Pa., to mark D-Day on Thursday on Utah Seaside, Normandy.

John Leicester/AP

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John Leicester/AP

President Biden marked the eightieth anniversary of the D-Day invasion that helped liberate Europe from Nazi Germany on Thursday, attending a ceremony at Normandy American Cemetery alongside French President Emmanuel Macron.

Veterans are awarded a excessive honor

World Warfare II veterans — dozens of whom had been welcomed as returning heroes after they arrived in France this week — had been additionally on the occasion, a mixture of celebrating freedom, remembering the horrible sacrifices it requires, and honoring veterans who put their lives on the road.

“On behalf of the American folks and as commander in chief, it is the very best honor to have the ability to salute you right here in Normandy,” Biden informed the veterans.

“Right here you got here, to hitch our efforts with your personal troopers, and to make France a free nation,” Macron informed the previous service members. “And you might be again right here at this time — at dwelling, if I’ll say.”

Underneath clear and sunny skies, Macron introduced a bunch of veterans with the Legion of Honor, France’s highest ornament, pinning medals to their jackets as the gang applauded. The cemetery and its memorial sits simply inland from the famed Omaha Seaside, on the shore the place greater than 150,000 U.S. and Allied troops streamed ashore in a large amphibious assault.

Occasion nods to Ukraine’s battle towards Russia

Because it evoked that historic and bloody day, the occasion additionally took observe of a present battle: Europe is as soon as once more a spot of battle, as Russia seeks to pummel neighboring Ukraine into submission.

“Ukraine has been invaded by a tyrant bent on domination,” Biden mentioned, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The U.S., NATO and its allies stand with Ukraine and will not “stroll away,” Biden mentioned. He warned of a ripple impact of violence and aggression, ought to Russian achieve subjugating Ukraine.

“The autocrats of the world are watching intently to see what occurs in Ukraine, to see if we let this unlawful aggression go unchecked. We can not let that occur.”

Worldwide, he added, democracy is extra in danger now than it has been at another time since World Warfare II ended.

Each Biden and U.S. Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin referred to as on the U.S. and its allies to uphold the spirit of D-Day.

“We nonetheless search a world the place aggression is a sin and the place human rights are sacred and the place all folks can reside in freedom,” Austin mentioned. “At the moment in historical past, we should once more stand agency towards aggression and tyranny.”

Austin additionally had a message to the veterans who sat close by: “You saved the world. Gents, we salute you.”

Biden touts engagement over isolation

“What the allies did collectively 80 years in the past far surpassed something we might have carried out on our personal,” Biden mentioned, urging Individuals to not neglect that lesson.

“Collectively we received the battle,” he mentioned. “We rebuilt Europe, together with our former enemies. It was an funding in what turned [a] shared and a affluent future.”

Investing in NATO and different alliances is within the self-interest of the U.S., the president added.

“Isolationism was not the reply 80 years in the past and isn’t the reply at this time,” Biden mentioned. “We all know the darkish forces that these heroes fought towards 80 years in the past. They by no means fade, aggression and greed, the will to dominate and management to alter borders by power. These are perennial.”

Army cemeteries just like the one at Normandy present the price of freedom, Biden mentioned.

“Keep in mind, the value of unchecked tyranny is the blood of the younger and the courageous,” Biden mentioned. “Of their era, of their hour of trial, the Allied forces of D-Day did their responsibility. Now the query for us is, in our hour of trial, will we do ours?”

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