Biden will speak about freedom and democracy at Pointe du Hoc, 80 years after D-Day

President Biden delivers a speech Friday on freedom and democracy at Pointe du Hoc, which was a heavily fortified German position captured by U.S. Army Rangers during World War II. invasion of Normandy.

In his speech, the president will link the Allied Powers’ fight for freedom on D-Day decades ago to support for self-rule in Ukraine and elsewhere now.

Cautioning against isolationism and emphasizing the cost of not standing up to dictators has been a recurring theme this week for Mr. Biden. He is in France to observe the 80th anniversary of the Landingthe massive maritime invasion helped put the Allies on the path to ending World War II.

“He will speak to the issues of this moment, an existential struggle between a dictatorship and freedom,” said national security adviser Jake Sullivan, who previewed the president’s speech to reporters. “He’ll talk about the men who climbed those cliffs and how they put country before themselves. And he’ll talk about the dangers of isolationism and how if we bow to dictators and fail They continue to stand up to them, and in the end, America and the world pay a higher price.

During the American assault on the beaches of Omaha and Utah on D-Day, U.S. Army Rangers scaled 100-foot cliffs and seized German artillery that might have targeted American troops during their disembarkation. The success of the operation came at a high cost – of the 225 Rangers deployed on the mission, fewer than 75 were still fit to fight at the end – but the assault resulted in a successful defense against counterattacks. -German attacks. The Pointe du Hoc World War II Rangers Monument was built in honor of these men.

File: “Pointe du Hoc” is pictured on Tuesday April 8, 2014 near Caen, Normandy, France. It was the high point of World War II between Utah Beach and Omaha Beach.

David Vincent/AP

Ukraine is a priority for Mr. Biden, both in his speech and during his meetings with world leaders in France.

“The price of unchecked tyranny is the blood of the young and the brave,” Mr. Biden said in a speech in Normandy on Thursday. “In their generation, in the hour of testing, the D-Day Allied forces did their duty. Now the question before us is, in the hour of testing, will we ours ?”

Mr. Biden met Friday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who was at Omaha Beach on Thursday for an international event commemorating D-Day.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and U.S. President Joe Biden participate in the official international ceremony commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Allied landings at the Omaha Beach memorial in Normandy, France, June 6, 2024.

Ukrainian Presidency/document/Anadolu via Getty Images

“The unity that defines history,” Zelensky tweeted Thursday. “Today in France, alongside our allies, we honored the courage of the allied forces who landed in Normandy 80 years ago. We remember. We thank them. We defend the values ​​of the defenders of life.”

As they met on Friday, Mr. Biden offered his first public apology to the Ukrainian people for months of uncertainty over the reality of the additional $61 billion in U.S. aid for the country’s war effort. Ukraine. This help was retained by conservative Republican members of the US Congress attaching internal border issues to the foreign aid program, which was finally passed in late April and was quickly signed by Mr. Biden.

Mr. Biden assured Zelensky on Friday that the American people were determined to stand with Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression for the long term, telling him: “We are still here. Completely. Fully.”

“It is very important that in this unity of the United States of America, all Americans remain with Ukraine as was the case during World War II,” Zelensky told the US leader. “How the United States helped save lives, save Europe. And we count on your continued support to stand with us, side by side.”

Mr Biden was due to discuss the future of support for Ukraine with French President Emmanuel Macron later during his state visit to France.

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