President Barack Obama and other world leaders have gathered at Normandy in France to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
Like the 75th anniversary of Gallipoli in 1990, this is likely to be the last time that survivors of the largest sea-borne invasion in history will gather to remember the historic turning point that led to the defeat of Hitler and the end of the war in Europe.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is attending the commemoration.
United States President Barack Obama addressed the morning ceremony: “By daybreak, blood soaked the water, and bombs broke the sky. Thousands of paratroopers had dropped into the wrong landing sites; thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand. Entire companies’ worth of men fell in minutes. … By the end of that longest day, this beach had been fought, lost, refought and won — a piece of Europe once again liberated and free. …”
- Listen to Obama (25m – transcript below)
- Watch Obama (25m)
Front page of The Age, June 7, 1944.
Transcript of President Barack Obama’s speech at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
President Hollande; to the people of France; friends; the family; our veterans:
If prayer were made of sound, the skies over England that night would have deafened the world.
Captains paced their decks. Pilots tapped their gauges. Commanders pored over maps, fully aware that for all the months of meticulous planning, everything could go wrong — 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. [Read more...]