U.S. President Donald Trump paid stirring homage Thursday to the brave Allied soldiers who "stood in the fires of hell" to help turn the tide of World War II, speaking at the edge of Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, where thousands of men stormed the shore 75 years ago in a relentless onslaught that was both a suicide mission and a historic triumph of good over evil, Fox News reports.
Trump, Macron mark D-Day's 75th anniversary in Normandy
STEPANAKERT, JUNE 6, ARTSAKHPRESS: Trump, who was joined by French President Emmannuel Macron, lauded the courage of Allied soldiers and recounted stories of heroism from the epic battle, in which 4,414 Allied troops – including 2,501 Americans - were killed. He also thanked 170 veterans of the invasion who attended the ceremony, including Ray Lambert, a 23-year-old medic at the time who would win three Purple Hearts and write a book, "Every Man a Hero," about his role in the event.
“Today we remember those who fell and we honor those who fought right here in Normandy. They won back this ground for civilization for more than 107 veterans of the Second World War.," Trump said. "You are the glory of our Republic and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts."
Trump, continuing the tradition of his predecessors, appeared alongside leaders from Britain, Canada, France, and even Germany to pay homage to the troops who turn the tide of the war.
French President Emmanuel Macron spoke before Trump, to the sound of wartime American songs and military music. He addressed the crowd in French, paying a heartfelt tribute to the American and Allied soldiers who helped liberate France.
“Today France has not forgotten to those who we owe our right to freedom,” Macron said.
Macron then switched to English, addressing the veterans in the audience: “We know what we owe to you veterans. Our freedom. On behalf of my nation, I just want to say, thank you.”
In a Twitter message early Thursday, President Trump seemed to be looking forward to the day's events.
"Heading over to Normandy to celebrate some of the bravest that ever lived. We are eternally grateful!" the president wrote.
The message included a Defense Department video featuring remembrances of some veterans who participated in the D-Day invasion.
Earlier, the president tweeted an excerpt from his D-Day remarks.
"They did not know if they would survive the hour," the president wrote. "They did not know if they would grow old. But they knew that America had to prevail. Their cause was this Nation, and generations yet unborn."
Remembrances will continue to take place throughout the day. Trump will deliver a speech later Thursday at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where more than 9,000 American military dead are buried.
D-Day was the largest invasion – by both air and sea – in history. On June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops carried by 7,000 boats landed on the beaches code-named Omaha, Utah, Juno, Sword, and Gold.