President Obama Joins European Leaders to Commemorate the 70th Anniversary of D-Day


by Karin Caifa
by CNN

 PARIS, FRANCE -- President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin came face to face at D-Day commemoration ceremonies in France.  Obama told Putin he has to recognize Ukraine's president-elect.  As WCCB's Karin Caifa reports, tensions between the USA and Russia did not overshadow the D-Day anniversary tributes.

Joining European leaders in Normandy Friday, President Obama paid tribute to US service members and their allies who stormed the beaches 70 years ago. The winds, the tides, the element of surprise, and, above all, the audacious bet that what waited on the other side of the Channel would compel men not to shrink away, but to charge ahead.

The charge of more than 156,000 Allied troops on a 50-mile stretch of coastline in northern France on June 6th, 1944, was a turning point in the Second World War, liberating France in the largest seaborne invasion in history.  Almost 10,000 Allied troops were killed or wounded.

In addition to French President Francois Hollande, also attending Friday's commemorations were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Britain's Queen Elizabeth, who served in World War Two as a mechanic and truck driver.  

On the other side of the Atlantic, one million rose petals rained down on the Statue of Liberty, perhaps this nation's most enduring symbol of friendship with France.  And at the World War Two Memorial in Washington, a special thank you for those veterans in attendance from Franklin D. Roosevelt's great-grandson, Elliot Roosevelt: "We are so lucky for you.  May we now and in the future live up to your standard, and live up to what you have inferred on us.  For an effort that will never be forgotten."

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