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Obama honors WWII, 9/11 generations at Normandy

KDWN

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Seventy years after Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, President Barack Obama returned Friday to this hallowed battleground in what he called a “powerful manifestation of America’s commitment to human freedom” that lives on in a new generation.

“Our commitment to liberty, our claim to equality, our claim to freedom and to the inherent dignity of every human being – that claim is written in the blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity,” Obama said on a morning that dawned glorious and bright over the sacred site he called “democracy’s beachhead.”

Obama spoke from the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where nearly 10,000 white marble tombstones sit on a bluff overlooking the site of the June 6, 1944, battle’s most violent fighting at Omaha Beach. He described D-Day’s violent scene in vivid terms, recalling that “by daybreak, blood soaked the water” and “thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand.”

Veterans of that fierce battle traveled long distances to the remote historic site and removed their hats as the audience delivered a long standing ovation when Obama recognized them.

“These men waged war so that we might know peace,” Obama said. “They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them.”

The anniversary commemoration is putting fractures in the World War II alliance on display, with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending events along with leaders who are standing against his aggressive moves into Ukraine. Obama and Putin spoke privately about the crisis for a short time at the Chateau de Benouville, where world leaders gathered for a lunch of braised veal.

Obama’s speech at the morning ceremony came after he met privately with seven of the dwindling number of surviving troops who fought Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, along with seven members of the military who have served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Among them was Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who served 10 deployments and was severely wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Obama recognized Remsburg at the emotional high-point of his State of the Union address earlier this year, after first meeting him five years ago at the Normandy commemoration.

Obama held Remsberg up Friday as an example of the sacrifice of his generation, telling the D-Day veterans, “Your legacy is in good hands.”

“For in a time when it has never been more tempting to pursue narrow self-interest, to slough off common endeavor, this generation of Americans, a new generation, our men and women of war, have chosen to do their part as well,” Obama said. He recognized the commitment that women and immigrants are making in today’s more diverse U.S. military.

The president mentioned that his grandfather served in Patton’s Army and his grandmother was among the many women who went to work supporting the war effort back home, in her case on a B-29 bomber assembly line. Obama’s grandparents helped raise him, and he broke from his prepared text to observe wistfully that there was never a time he missed his grandfather more or would have loved to be with him.

“Someday, future generations, whether seventy or seven hundred years hence, will gather at places like this to honor them,” Obama said. “And to say that these were generations of men and women who proved once again that the United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.”

Pickler reported from Paris.

Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nedrapickler and Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpacedc

Obama honors WWII, 9/11 generations at Normandy

KDWN

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Seventy years after Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, President Barack Obama returned Friday to this hallowed battleground in what he called a “powerful manifestation of America’s commitment to human freedom” that lives on in a new generation.

“Our commitment to liberty, our claim to equality, our claim to freedom and to the inherent dignity of every human being – that claim is written in the blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity,” Obama said on a morning that dawned glorious and bright over the sacred site he called “democracy’s beachhead.”

Obama spoke from the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where nearly 10,000 white marble tombstones sit on a bluff overlooking the site of the June 6, 1944, battle’s most violent fighting at Omaha Beach. He described D-Day’s violent scene in vivid terms, recalling that “by daybreak, blood soaked the water” and “thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand.”

Veterans of that fierce battle traveled long distances to the remote historic site and removed their hats as the audience delivered a long standing ovation when Obama recognized them.

“These men waged war so that we might know peace,” Obama said. “They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them.”

The anniversary commemoration is putting fractures in the World War II alliance on display, with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending events along with leaders who are standing against his aggressive moves into Ukraine. Obama and Putin spoke privately about the crisis for a short time at the Chateau de Benouville, where world leaders gathered for a lunch of braised veal.

Obama’s speech at the morning ceremony came after he met privately with seven of the dwindling number of surviving troops who fought Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, along with seven members of the military who have served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Among them was Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who served 10 deployments and was severely wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Obama recognized Remsburg at the emotional high-point of his State of the Union address earlier this year, after first meeting him five years ago at the Normandy commemoration.

Obama held Remsberg up Friday as an example of the sacrifice of his generation, telling the D-Day veterans, “Your legacy is in good hands.”

“For in a time when it has never been more tempting to pursue narrow self-interest, to slough off common endeavor, this generation of Americans, a new generation, our men and women of war, have chosen to do their part as well,” Obama said. He recognized the commitment that women and immigrants are making in today’s more diverse U.S. military.

The president mentioned that his grandfather served in Patton’s Army and his grandmother was among the many women who went to work supporting the war effort back home, in her case on a B-29 bomber assembly line. Obama’s grandparents helped raise him, and he broke from his prepared text to observe wistfully that there was never a time he missed his grandfather more or would have loved to be with him.

“Someday, future generations, whether seventy or seven hundred years hence, will gather at places like this to honor them,” Obama said. “And to say that these were generations of men and women who proved once again that the United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.”

Pickler reported from Paris.

Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nedrapickler and Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpacedc

Obama honors WWII, 9/11 generations at Normandy

KDWN

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Seventy years after Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, President Barack Obama returned Friday to this hallowed battleground in what he called a “powerful manifestation of America’s commitment to human freedom” that lives on in a new generation.

“Our commitment to liberty, our claim to equality, our claim to freedom and to the inherent dignity of every human being – that claim is written in the blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity,” Obama said on a morning that dawned glorious and bright over the sacred site he called “democracy’s beachhead.”

Obama spoke from the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where nearly 10,000 white marble tombstones sit on a bluff overlooking the site of the June 6, 1944, battle’s most violent fighting at Omaha Beach. He described D-Day’s violent scene in vivid terms, recalling that “by daybreak, blood soaked the water” and “thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand.”

Veterans of that fierce battle traveled long distances to the remote historic site and removed their hats as the audience delivered a long standing ovation when Obama recognized them.

“These men waged war so that we might know peace,” Obama said. “They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them.”

The anniversary commemoration is putting fractures in the World War II alliance on display, with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending events along with leaders who are standing against his aggressive moves into Ukraine. Obama and Putin spoke privately about the crisis for a short time at the Chateau de Benouville, where world leaders gathered for a lunch of braised veal.

Obama’s speech at the morning ceremony came after he met privately with seven of the dwindling number of surviving troops who fought Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, along with seven members of the military who have served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Among them was Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who served 10 deployments and was severely wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Obama recognized Remsburg at the emotional high-point of his State of the Union address earlier this year, after first meeting him five years ago at the Normandy commemoration.

Obama held Remsberg up Friday as an example of the sacrifice of his generation, telling the D-Day veterans, “Your legacy is in good hands.”

“For in a time when it has never been more tempting to pursue narrow self-interest, to slough off common endeavor, this generation of Americans, a new generation, our men and women of war, have chosen to do their part as well,” Obama said. He recognized the commitment that women and immigrants are making in today’s more diverse U.S. military.

The president mentioned that his grandfather served in Patton’s Army and his grandmother was among the many women who went to work supporting the war effort back home, in her case on a B-29 bomber assembly line. Obama’s grandparents helped raise him, and he broke from his prepared text to observe wistfully that there was never a time he missed his grandfather more or would have loved to be with him.

“Someday, future generations, whether seventy or seven hundred years hence, will gather at places like this to honor them,” Obama said. “And to say that these were generations of men and women who proved once again that the United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.”

Pickler reported from Paris.

Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nedrapickler and Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpacedc

Obama honors WWII, 9/11 generations at Normandy

KDWN

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Seventy years after Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, President Barack Obama returned Friday to this hallowed battleground in what he called a “powerful manifestation of America’s commitment to human freedom” that lives on in a new generation.

“Our commitment to liberty, our claim to equality, our claim to freedom and to the inherent dignity of every human being – that claim is written in the blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity,” Obama said on a morning that dawned glorious and bright over the sacred site he called “democracy’s beachhead.”

Obama spoke from the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where nearly 10,000 white marble tombstones sit on a bluff overlooking the site of the June 6, 1944, battle’s most violent fighting at Omaha Beach. He described D-Day’s violent scene in vivid terms, recalling that “by daybreak, blood soaked the water” and “thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand.”

Veterans of that fierce battle traveled long distances to the remote historic site and removed their hats as the audience delivered a long standing ovation when Obama recognized them.

“These men waged war so that we might know peace,” Obama said. “They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them.”

The anniversary commemoration is putting fractures in the World War II alliance on display, with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending events along with leaders who are standing against his aggressive moves into Ukraine. Obama and Putin spoke privately about the crisis for a short time at the Chateau de Benouville, where world leaders gathered for a lunch of braised veal.

Obama’s speech at the morning ceremony came after he met privately with seven of the dwindling number of surviving troops who fought Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, along with seven members of the military who have served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Among them was Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who served 10 deployments and was severely wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Obama recognized Remsburg at the emotional high-point of his State of the Union address earlier this year, after first meeting him five years ago at the Normandy commemoration.

Obama held Remsberg up Friday as an example of the sacrifice of his generation, telling the D-Day veterans, “Your legacy is in good hands.”

“For in a time when it has never been more tempting to pursue narrow self-interest, to slough off common endeavor, this generation of Americans, a new generation, our men and women of war, have chosen to do their part as well,” Obama said. He recognized the commitment that women and immigrants are making in today’s more diverse U.S. military.

The president mentioned that his grandfather served in Patton’s Army and his grandmother was among the many women who went to work supporting the war effort back home, in her case on a B-29 bomber assembly line. Obama’s grandparents helped raise him, and he broke from his prepared text to observe wistfully that there was never a time he missed his grandfather more or would have loved to be with him.

“Someday, future generations, whether seventy or seven hundred years hence, will gather at places like this to honor them,” Obama said. “And to say that these were generations of men and women who proved once again that the United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.”

Pickler reported from Paris.

Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nedrapickler and Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpacedc

Obama honors WWII, 9/11 generations at Normandy

KDWN

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Seventy years after Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, President Barack Obama returned Friday to this hallowed battleground in what he called a “powerful manifestation of America’s commitment to human freedom” that lives on in a new generation.

“Our commitment to liberty, our claim to equality, our claim to freedom and to the inherent dignity of every human being – that claim is written in the blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity,” Obama said on a morning that dawned glorious and bright over the sacred site he called “democracy’s beachhead.”

Obama spoke from the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where nearly 10,000 white marble tombstones sit on a bluff overlooking the site of the June 6, 1944, battle’s most violent fighting at Omaha Beach. He described D-Day’s violent scene in vivid terms, recalling that “by daybreak, blood soaked the water” and “thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand.”

Veterans of that fierce battle traveled long distances to the remote historic site and removed their hats as the audience delivered a long standing ovation when Obama recognized them.

“These men waged war so that we might know peace,” Obama said. “They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them.”

The anniversary commemoration is putting fractures in the World War II alliance on display, with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending events along with leaders who are standing against his aggressive moves into Ukraine. Obama and Putin spoke privately about the crisis for a short time at the Chateau de Benouville, where world leaders gathered for a lunch of braised veal.

Obama’s speech at the morning ceremony came after he met privately with seven of the dwindling number of surviving troops who fought Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, along with seven members of the military who have served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Among them was Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who served 10 deployments and was severely wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Obama recognized Remsburg at the emotional high-point of his State of the Union address earlier this year, after first meeting him five years ago at the Normandy commemoration.

Obama held Remsberg up Friday as an example of the sacrifice of his generation, telling the D-Day veterans, “Your legacy is in good hands.”

“For in a time when it has never been more tempting to pursue narrow self-interest, to slough off common endeavor, this generation of Americans, a new generation, our men and women of war, have chosen to do their part as well,” Obama said. He recognized the commitment that women and immigrants are making in today’s more diverse U.S. military.

The president mentioned that his grandfather served in Patton’s Army and his grandmother was among the many women who went to work supporting the war effort back home, in her case on a B-29 bomber assembly line. Obama’s grandparents helped raise him, and he broke from his prepared text to observe wistfully that there was never a time he missed his grandfather more or would have loved to be with him.

“Someday, future generations, whether seventy or seven hundred years hence, will gather at places like this to honor them,” Obama said. “And to say that these were generations of men and women who proved once again that the United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.”

Pickler reported from Paris.

Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nedrapickler and Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpacedc

Obama honors WWII, 9/11 generations at Normandy

KDWN

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Seventy years after Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, President Barack Obama returned Friday to this hallowed battleground in what he called a “powerful manifestation of America’s commitment to human freedom” that lives on in a new generation.

“Our commitment to liberty, our claim to equality, our claim to freedom and to the inherent dignity of every human being – that claim is written in the blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity,” Obama said on a morning that dawned glorious and bright over the sacred site he called “democracy’s beachhead.”

Obama spoke from the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where nearly 10,000 white marble tombstones sit on a bluff overlooking the site of the June 6, 1944, battle’s most violent fighting at Omaha Beach. He described D-Day’s violent scene in vivid terms, recalling that “by daybreak, blood soaked the water” and “thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand.”

Veterans of that fierce battle traveled long distances to the remote historic site and removed their hats as the audience delivered a long standing ovation when Obama recognized them.

“These men waged war so that we might know peace,” Obama said. “They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them.”

The anniversary commemoration is putting fractures in the World War II alliance on display, with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending events along with leaders who are standing against his aggressive moves into Ukraine. Obama and Putin spoke privately about the crisis for a short time at the Chateau de Benouville, where world leaders gathered for a lunch of braised veal.

Obama’s speech at the morning ceremony came after he met privately with seven of the dwindling number of surviving troops who fought Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, along with seven members of the military who have served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Among them was Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who served 10 deployments and was severely wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Obama recognized Remsburg at the emotional high-point of his State of the Union address earlier this year, after first meeting him five years ago at the Normandy commemoration.

Obama held Remsberg up Friday as an example of the sacrifice of his generation, telling the D-Day veterans, “Your legacy is in good hands.”

“For in a time when it has never been more tempting to pursue narrow self-interest, to slough off common endeavor, this generation of Americans, a new generation, our men and women of war, have chosen to do their part as well,” Obama said. He recognized the commitment that women and immigrants are making in today’s more diverse U.S. military.

The president mentioned that his grandfather served in Patton’s Army and his grandmother was among the many women who went to work supporting the war effort back home, in her case on a B-29 bomber assembly line. Obama’s grandparents helped raise him, and he broke from his prepared text to observe wistfully that there was never a time he missed his grandfather more or would have loved to be with him.

“Someday, future generations, whether seventy or seven hundred years hence, will gather at places like this to honor them,” Obama said. “And to say that these were generations of men and women who proved once again that the United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.”

Pickler reported from Paris.

Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nedrapickler and Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpacedc

Obama honors WWII, 9/11 generations at Normandy

KDWN

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Seventy years after Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, President Barack Obama returned Friday to this hallowed battleground in what he called a “powerful manifestation of America’s commitment to human freedom” that lives on in a new generation.

“Our commitment to liberty, our claim to equality, our claim to freedom and to the inherent dignity of every human being – that claim is written in the blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity,” Obama said on a morning that dawned glorious and bright over the sacred site he called “democracy’s beachhead.”

Obama spoke from the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where nearly 10,000 white marble tombstones sit on a bluff overlooking the site of the June 6, 1944, battle’s most violent fighting at Omaha Beach. He described D-Day’s violent scene in vivid terms, recalling that “by daybreak, blood soaked the water” and “thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand.”

Veterans of that fierce battle traveled long distances to the remote historic site and removed their hats as the audience delivered a long standing ovation when Obama recognized them.

“These men waged war so that we might know peace,” Obama said. “They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them.”

The anniversary commemoration is putting fractures in the World War II alliance on display, with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending events along with leaders who are standing against his aggressive moves into Ukraine. Putin posed with the leaders for a photo outside a lunch at the Chateau de Benouville, then filed inside directly in front of Obama. He and Putin appeared to be deliberately trying to avoid each other. Obama chatted with Queen Elizabeth II and did not acknowledge Putin in front of the assembled media before the group went inside for the private meal.

Obama’s speech at the morning ceremony came after he met privately with seven of the dwindling number of surviving troops who fought Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, along with seven members of the military who have served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Among them was Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who served 10 deployments and was severely wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Obama recognized Remsburg at the emotional high-point of his State of the Union address earlier this year, after first meeting him five years ago at the Normandy commemoration.

Obama held Remsberg up Friday as an example of the sacrifice of his generation, telling the D-Day veterans, “Your legacy is in good hands.”

“For in a time when it has never been more tempting to pursue narrow self-interest, to slough off common endeavor, this generation of Americans, a new generation, our men and women of war, have chosen to do their part as well,” Obama said. He recognized the commitment that women and immigrants are making in today’s more diverse U.S. military.

The president mentioned that his grandfather served in Patton’s Army and his grandmother was among the many women who went to work supporting the war effort back home, in her case on a B-29 bomber assembly line. Obama’s grandparents helped raise him, and he broke from his prepared text to observe wistfully that there was never a time he missed his grandfather more or would have loved to be with him.

“Someday, future generations, whether seventy or seven hundred years hence, will gather at places like this to honor them,” Obama said. “And to say that these were generations of men and women who proved once again that the United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.”

Pickler reported from Paris.

Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nedrapickler and Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpacedc

Obama honors WWII, 9/11 generations at Normandy

KDWN

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Seventy years after Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, President Barack Obama returned Friday to this hallowed battleground in what he called a “powerful manifestation of America’s commitment to human freedom” that lives on in a new generation.

“Our commitment to liberty, our claim to equality, our claim to freedom and to the inherent dignity of every human being – that claim is written in the blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity,” Obama said on a morning that dawned glorious and bright over the sacred site he called “democracy’s beachhead.”

Obama spoke from the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where nearly 10,000 white marble tombstones sit on a bluff overlooking the site of the June 6, 1944, battle’s most violent fighting at Omaha Beach. He described D-Day’s violent scene in vivid terms, recalling that “by daybreak, blood soaked the water” and “thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand.”

Veterans of that fierce battle traveled long distances to the remote historic site and removed their hats as the audience delivered a long standing ovation when Obama recognized them.

“These men waged war so that we might know peace,” Obama said. “They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them.”

The anniversary commemoration is putting fractures in the World War II alliance on display, with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending events along with leaders who are standing against his aggressive moves into Ukraine. Putin posed with the leaders for a photo outside a lunch at the Chateau de Benouville, then filed inside directly in front of Obama. He and Putin appeared to be deliberately trying to avoid each other. Obama chatted with Queen Elizabeth II and did not acknowledge Putin in front of the assembled media before the group went inside for the private meal.

Obama’s speech at the morning ceremony came after he met privately with seven of the dwindling number of surviving troops who fought Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, along with seven members of the military who have served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Among them was Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who served 10 deployments and was severely wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Obama recognized Remsburg at the emotional high-point of his State of the Union address earlier this year, after first meeting him five years ago at the Normandy commemoration.

Obama held Remsberg up Friday as an example of the sacrifice of his generation, telling the D-Day veterans, “Your legacy is in good hands.”

“For in a time when it has never been more tempting to pursue narrow self-interest, to slough off common endeavor, this generation of Americans, a new generation, our men and women of war, have chosen to do their part as well,” Obama said. He recognized the commitment that women and immigrants are making in today’s more diverse U.S. military.

The president mentioned that his grandfather served in Patton’s Army and his grandmother was among the many women who went to work supporting the war effort back home, in her case on a B-29 bomber assembly line. Obama’s grandparents helped raise him, and he broke from his prepared text to observe wistfully that there was never a time he missed his grandfather more or would have loved to be with him.

“Someday, future generations, whether seventy or seven hundred years hence, will gather at places like this to honor them,” Obama said. “And to say that these were generations of men and women who proved once again that the United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.”

Pickler reported from Paris.

Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nedrapickler and Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpacedc

Obama honors WWII, 9/11 generations at Normandy

KDWN

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Seventy years after Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, President Barack Obama returned Friday to this hallowed battleground in what he called a “powerful manifestation of America’s commitment to human freedom” that lives on in a new generation.

“Our commitment to liberty, our claim to equality, our claim to freedom and to the inherent dignity of every human being – that claim is written in the blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity,” Obama said on a morning that dawned glorious and bright over the sacred site he called “democracy’s beachhead.”

Obama spoke from the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where nearly 10,000 white marble tombstones sit on a bluff overlooking the site of the June 6, 1944, battle’s most violent fighting at Omaha Beach. He described D-Day’s violent scene in vivid terms, recalling that “by daybreak, blood soaked the water” and “thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand.”

Veterans of that fierce battle traveled long distances to the remote historic site and removed their hats as the audience delivered a long standing ovation when Obama recognized them.

“These men waged war so that we might know peace,” Obama said. “They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them.”

The anniversary commemoration is putting fractures in the World War II alliance on display, with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending events along with leaders who are standing against his aggressive moves into Ukraine. Putin posed with the leaders for a photo outside a lunch at the Chateau de Benouville, then filed inside directly in front of Obama. He and Putin appeared to be deliberately trying to avoid each other. Obama chatted with Queen Elizabeth II and did not acknowledge Putin in front of the assembled media before the group went inside for the private meal.

Obama’s speech at the morning ceremony came after he met privately with seven of the dwindling number of surviving troops who fought Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, along with seven members of the military who have served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Among them was Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who served 10 deployments and was severely wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Obama recognized Remsburg at the emotional high-point of his State of the Union address earlier this year, after first meeting him five years ago at the Normandy commemoration.

Obama held Remsberg up Friday as an example of the sacrifice of his generation, telling the D-Day veterans, “Your legacy is in good hands.”

“For in a time when it has never been more tempting to pursue narrow self-interest, to slough off common endeavor, this generation of Americans, a new generation, our men and women of war, have chosen to do their part as well,” Obama said. He recognized the commitment that women and immigrants are making in today’s more diverse military.

The president mentioned that his grandfather served in Patton’s Army and his grandmother was among the many women who went to work supporting the war effort back home, in her case on a B-29 bomber assembly line. Obama’s grandparents helped raise him, and he broke from his prepared text to observe wistfully that there was never a time he missed his grandfather more or would have loved to be with him.

“Someday, future generations, whether seventy or seven hundred years hence, will gather at places like this to honor them,” Obama said. “And to say that these were generations of men and women who proved once again that the United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.”

Pickler reported from Paris.

Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nedrapickler and Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpacedc

Obama honors WWII, 9/11 generations at Normandy

KDWN

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Seventy years after Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, President Barack Obama returned Friday to this hallowed battleground in what he called a “powerful manifestation of America’s commitment to human freedom” that lives on in a new generation.

“Our commitment to liberty, our claim to equality, our claim to freedom and to the inherent dignity of every human being – that claim is written in the blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity,” Obama said on a morning that dawned glorious and bright over the sacred site he called “democracy’s beachhead.”

Obama spoke from the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where nearly 10,000 white marble tombstones sit on a bluff overlooking the site of the June 6, 1944, battle’s most violent fighting at Omaha Beach. He described D-Day’s violent scene in vivid terms, recalling that “by daybreak, blood soaked the water” and “thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand.”

Veterans of that fierce battle traveled long distances to the remote historic site and removed their hats as the audience delivered a long standing ovation when Obama recognized them.

“These men waged war so that we might know peace,” Obama said. “They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them.”

The anniversary commemoration is putting fractures in the World War II alliance on display, with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending events along with leaders who are standing against his aggressive moves into Ukraine. Putin posed with the leaders for a photo outside a lunch at the Chateau de Benouville, then filed inside directly in front of Obama. He and Putin appeared to be deliberately trying to avoid each other. Obama chatted with Queen Elizabeth II and did not acknowledge Putin in front of the assembled media before the group went inside for the private meal.

Obama’s speech at the morning ceremony came after he met privately with seven of the dwindling number of surviving troops who fought Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, along with seven members of the military who have served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Among them was Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who served 10 deployments and was severely wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Obama recognized Remsburg at the emotional high-point of his State of the Union address earlier this year, after first meeting him five years ago at the Normandy commemoration.

Obama held Remsberg up Friday as an example of the sacrifice of his generation, telling the D-Day veterans, “Your legacy is in good hands.”

“For in a time when it has never been more tempting to pursue narrow self-interest, to slough off common endeavor, this generation of Americans, a new generation, our men and women of war, have chosen to do their part as well,” Obama said. He recognized the commitment that women and immigrants are making in today’s more diverse military.

The president mentioned that his grandfather served in Patton’s Army and his grandmother was among the many women who went to work supporting the war effort back home, in her case on a B-29 bomber assembly line. Obama’s grandparents helped raise him, and he broke from his prepared text to observe wistfully that there was never a time he missed his grandfather more or would have loved to be with him.

“Someday, future generations, whether seventy or seven hundred years hence, will gather at places like this to honor them,” Obama said. “And to say that these were generations of men and women who proved once again that the United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.”

Pickler reported from Paris.

Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nedrapickler and Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpacedc

Obama honors WWII, 9/11 generations at Normandy

KDWN

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Seventy years after Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, President Barack Obama returned Friday to this hallowed battleground in what he called a “powerful manifestation of America’s commitment to human freedom” that lives on in a new generation.

“Our commitment to liberty, our claim to equality, our claim to freedom and to the inherent dignity of every human being – that claim is written in the blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity,” Obama said on a morning that dawned glorious and bright over the sacred site he called “democracy’s beachhead.”

Obama spoke from the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where nearly 10,000 white marble tombstones sit on a bluff overlooking the site of the June 6, 1944, battle’s most violent fighting at Omaha Beach. He described D-Day’s violent scene in vivid terms, recalling that “by daybreak, blood soaked the water” and “thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand.”

Veterans of that fierce battle traveled long distances to the remote historic site and removed their hats as the audience delivered a long standing ovation when Obama recognized them.

“These men waged war so that we might know peace,” Obama said. “They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them.”

The anniversary commemoration was a gathering point for world figures in the midst of a current geopolitical crisis, with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending events along with leaders who are standing against his aggressive moves into Ukraine. All eyes promised to be on Putin and Obama, who were expected to have some interaction during a lunch for world leaders at the Chateau de Benouville.

Obama’s speech at the morning ceremony came after he met privately with seven of the dwindling number of surviving troops who fought Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, along with seven members of the military who have served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Among them was Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who served 10 deployments and was severely wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Obama recognized Remsburg at the emotional high-point of his State of the Union address earlier this year, after first meeting him five years ago at the Normandy commemoration.

Obama held Remsberg up Friday as an example of the sacrifice of his generation, telling the D-Day veterans, “Your legacy is in good hands.”

“For in a time when it has never been more tempting to pursue narrow self-interest, to slough off common endeavor, this generation of Americans, a new generation, our men and women of war, have chosen to do their part as well,” Obama said. He recognized the commitment that women and immigrants are making in today’s more diverse military.

The president mentioned that his grandfather served in Patton’s Army and his grandmother was among the many women who went to work supporting the war effort back home, in her case on a B-29 bomber assembly line. Obama’s grandparents helped raise him, and he broke from his prepared text to observe wistfully that there was never a time he missed his grandfather more or would have loved to be with him.

“Someday, future generations, whether seventy or seven hundred years hence, will gather at places like this to honor them,” Obama said. “And to say that these were generations of men and women who proved once again that the United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.”

Pickler reported from Paris.

Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nedrapickler and Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpacedc

Obama honors WWII, 9/11 generations at Normandy

KDWN

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Seventy years after Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, President Barack Obama returned Friday to this hallowed battleground and said “the tide was turned in that common struggle for freedom” on D-Day and now lives on in a new generation.

“America’s claim – our commitment to liberty, to equality, to freedom, to the inherent dignity of every human being – that claim is written in blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity,” Obama said in remarks prepared for delivery on a morning that dawned glorious and bright over the sacred site he called “democracy’s beachhead.”

Obama spoke from the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where nearly 10,000 white marble tombstones sit on a bluff overlooking the site of the June 6, 1944, battle’s most violent fighting at Omaha Beach. He described D-Day’s violent scene in vivid terms, recalling that “by daybreak, blood soaked the water” and “thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand.”

“We come to remember why America and our allies gave so much for the survival of liberty at its moment of maximum peril,” Obama said. “And we come to tell the story of the men and women who did it, so that it remains seared into the memory of the future world.”

The anniversary commemoration was a gathering point for world figures in the midst of a current geopolitical crisis, with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending events along with leaders who are standing against his aggressive moves into Ukraine. All eyes promised to be on Putin and Obama, who were expected to have some interaction during a lunch for world leaders at the Chateau de Benouville.

Obama’s speech at the morning ceremony came after he met privately with some of the dwindling number of surviving troops who fought Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, along with those who have served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

He told the D-Day veterans, “Your legacy is in good hands.”

The president mentioned that his grandfather served in Patton’s Army and his grandmother was among the many women who went to work supporting the war effort back home, in her case on a B-29 bomber assembly line.

Obama also singled out from the audience Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who served 10 deployments and was severely wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Obama recognized Remsburg at the emotional high-point of his State of the Union address earlier this year, after first meeting him five years ago at the Normandy commemoration. The two reunited Friday as Obama met with veterans at Omaha Beach before his speech.

“For in a time when it has never been more tempting to pursue narrow self-interest and slough off common endeavor, this generation of Americans, our men and women of war, have chosen to do their part as well,” Obama said.

“And someday, future generations, whether seventy or seven hundred years hence, will gather at places like this to honor them – and to say that these were generations of men and women who proved once again that the United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known,” Obama said.

Pickler reported from Paris.

Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nedrapickler and Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpacedc

Obama honors WWII, 9/11 generations at Normandy

KDWN

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — In a remembrance at one of the world’s most sacred battlegrounds, President Barack Obama was paying tribute Friday to the men who stormed the beaches on D-Day 70 years ago and tying their sacrifices to veterans of the modern-day fight against terrorism.

Obama was joining the World War II and 9/11 generations in rhetoric and in person. He was meeting privately with some of the dwindling number of surviving troops who fought Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich together with those who have served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, before delivering a speech at the American ceremony at Omaha Beach.

“Seventy years later, we pay tribute to the service members who secured a beachhead on an unforgiving shore – the patriots who, through their courage and sacrifice, changed the course of an entire century,” Obama said in a proclamation calling on Americans to observe Friday as D-Day National Remembrance Day. “Today, as we carry on the struggle for liberty and universal human rights, let us draw strength from a moment when free nations beat back the forces of oppression and gave new hope to the world.”

The anniversary events in France are taking on their own significance in a modern geopolitical crisis, with Russian President Vladimir Putin planning to attend the commemoration along with world leaders who are standing against his aggressive moves into Ukraine. All eyes promised to be on Putin and Obama, who were expected to have some interaction during a lunch for world leaders at the Chateau de Benouville.

“Should we have the opportunity to talk, I will be repeating the same message that I’ve been delivering to him throughout the crisis,” Obama said. He said that includes a warning to stop destabilizing Ukraine and to engage with the newly elected government – or face further response from the western world beyond the sanctions already imposed.

Obama’s D-Day remarks were scheduled for Friday morning at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where nearly 10,000 white marble tombstones sit on a bluff overlooking the site of the June 6, 1944, battle’s bloodiest fighting at Omaha Beach. Obama adviser Ben Rhodes said the speech is a chance to look back at allies working together on behalf of freedom, while honoring younger veterans.

“We have a generation since 9/11 that has equated itself equally in terms of their commitment to serve in a time of war and stand up for those values,” Rhodes said. “So it takes the United States, it takes our leadership, and it takes our alliances to secure the freedoms that we pay tribute to at anniversaries like this.”

Pickler reported from Paris.

Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nedrapickler and Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpacedc