COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday lauded the heroism of American and Allied service members who participated in the D-Day invasion that changed the fortunes of World War II, saying they “are among the very greatest Americans who will ever live.”
Trump joined with other world leaders at Normandy American Cemetery in France to honor those who died and participated in the battle.
The president described the 130,000 service members who fought as the “citizens of free and independent nations, united by their duty to their compatriots and to millions yet unborn.”
Trump also sought to assure allies, saying: “To all of our friends and partners — our cherished alliance was forged in the heat of battle, tested in the trials of war, and proven in the blessings of peace. Our bond is unbreakable.”
He said the abundance of courage showed by D-Day participants came from an abundance of faith.
“The exceptional might came from an exceptional spirit,” Trump said.
Trump was joined by French President Emmanuel Macron who told American D-Day veterans that “France doesn’t forget” their sacrifice for his country’s liberty.
“We know what we owe to you veterans: our freedom,” Macron said. “On behalf of my nation, I just want to say, thank you.”
Trump, who participated in D-Day commemoration in Portsmouth, England, on Wednesday, said in France that America’s veterans are the pride of the U.S. He shared the personal stories of several American D-Day veterans with the audience.
“You are among the very greatest Americans who will ever live,” he said.
Trump spoke in France at the Normandy American Cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer, near Omaha Beach, where the Americans landed on June 6, 1944.
Trump said that on that day —75 years ago— 10,000 men sacrificed their lives not only for their fellow troops and their countries, but for the “survival of liberty.”
Trump says the ground the allied forces captured during the invasion “won back this ground for civilization.”