President Donald Trump delivered remarks in Normandy, France, on Thursday, honoring World War II and D-Day veterans on the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
"We are gathered here on freedom's altar. On these shores, on these bluffs, on this day 75 years ago, 10,000 men shed their blood and thousands sacrificed their lives for their brothers, for their countries, and for the survival of liberty. Today, we remember those who fell and we honor all who fought right here in Normandy. They won back this ground for civilization," he opened, before calling attention to the veterans present.
There were 170 World War II veterans present at the speech, including 60 who participated in the D-Day invasion, the largest seaborne invasion in history. President Trump called attention to a few of them by name: army medic Ray Lambert, the recipient of four Purple Hearts and three Silver Stars who served with his brother on D-Day, Captain Joe Dawson, who helped create a breakthrough for American troops, and Russell Pickett, who had been wounded in the first wave of the invasion and vowed to return to battle. Pickett returned to his company after being wounded twice before a third incident left him unconscious for 12 days, and he is the last living member of his company.
The president acknowledged the British, French, Canadian, Polish, Norwegian, and Australian forces who joined in the invasion, and closed his speech commemorating the American forces, crediting them with making the country what it is today.
"In the decades that followed, America defeated communism, secured civil rights, revolutionized science, launched a man to the moon, and then kept on pushing to new frontiers, and today America is stronger than ever before," Trump said. "Seven decades ago, the warriors of D-Day fought a sinister enemy who spoke of a thousand-year empire. In defeating that evil, they left a legacy that will last not only for a thousand years, but for all time."