tv President Clinton at D- Day 50th Anniversary CSPAN July 2, 2019 5:23am-6:03am EDT
german, i like to present our master of ceremonies, mr. walter cronkite. he has covered nearly every major news event during his 44 year affiliation with cvs. including the years as anchorman cbs evening news. he covered world war ii. including taking part on the beachhead assault in normandy 50 years ago today. >> good afternoon mr. president . distinguished guests. ladies and gentlemen. honored today our veterans.
50 years ago today, the liberation of western europe began on these beaches. the greatest invasion force in history landed here to open the final stage of world war ii in europe. i wanted to have been asked to share with you this solemn and historic commemoration. for this great undertaking, more than 70,000 american soldiers and airmen overcame tremendous odds to secure these beaches. however, we are not here to celebrate nor are we here certainly did glorify the battle. our purpose today is to remember and to say, thank you once again to the veterans who stand before us and who lie around us. each of us relive them with
families and friends. this peaceful countryside. it mask the horrors of a half- century ago. remember the man and the sacrifice of life. the willingness to risk everything to restore freedom and peace to a country that many who made on these beaches had only up to then read about in their history books. sadly, many of them were experiencing again the stories from an earlier conflict. stories of fathers and uncles who have fought in this land a quarter of a century before. for each of us here, the memories return. we looked at each of the veterans who have returned and say, thank you. would like to the white markers and said thank you. thank you that we stand here today. in friendship on the beaches
once littered with death and filled with the terror of dying. we honor the veterans of this battle. we remind ourselves of the great price paid to secure peace and freedom. before the formal portion begins, we wish to thank all the organizations and individuals who have dedicated time and effort to make this day a reality. we would like to offer a special welcome of course to all the veterans and their families have traveled so far to share this day. i can hear on this trip by ship. honor to share the passage with several hundred veterans. i was surprised to learn that many and perhaps most are kept silent on their exports. a half-century of silence.
i was somewhat puzzled by that. until i realized that these men did not feel that they should reap the glory just because they survived. they felt their comrades did not make it with the true heroes. let me assure those who are here and those thousands who cannot get back to normandy for this commemoration that to us, with liberty and freedom you are sure that you indeed are heroes. each and everyone. this day 50 years ago changed the world. 's legacy remains from my generation as well. generations to come. a symbol of the true cause of peace and freedom.
help describe the an ozone time the memory of those who died. along with those who survived and together shall live forever. ladies and gentlemen, the invocation delivered by matthew zimmerman. we lift our hearts into gratitude for all those who lived and died. for all those who died bravely for truth and liberty and righteousness.
>> members of congress and distinguished guests. fellow soldiers. 50 years ago today, i did observation post overlooking omaha beach just over there, the german lieutenant was as the fog lifted from the channels and exposed for the very first time the vast armada that literally filled the verizon. utter disbelief, he only mother, that is not possible.
standing at the bowel of one of the lead in christ heading towards omaha beach, was the man i had the great pleasure of introducing today. as if it's, he was the first one off the boat. the other 30 million never got out. he scrambled to the seawall and years later, when you recall his feelings as he assembled the survivors of the other boats, he said, let the chaos reigned because the enemy -controlled the photo fire so completely. there was nothing i could do on the beach except dye.
he was not destined to die that day. hardened veteran. the extraordinary courage. led his men over the seawall through the minefield of the beach. engaging the enemy every step of the way. achieving their very first breakout of u.s. troops from that deadly beachhead. he and his men not only helped relieve the intensity of hostile fire against the beaches below but by the inspiring examples convinced that thousands of men still on the beach that they too can make it. by midafternoon, both companies
had advance to the westside, the deepest event that day. it was a very critical first step in a march to final victory. the associated press observed that when history books are written, about the great invasion, you may not necessarily read of him. install correctly concluded that no history will be complete without him. he is here with us today representing the thousands of soldiers who sought on this very soul. ladies and gentlemen, it is my great privilege to introduce to you the commanding officer 16th regiment, winner of the
and bravery were ever displayed them by the man of the assault elements of the 16th infantry regiment of the first division and the man of the 116th infantry regiment of the 29th division who were our comrades here on the omaha beach, june 6, 1944. i cannot tell you what it means to me. to stand on this spot. the path that we took lead us to where we are today. were related on the beach below. was total chaos. man laid dead or dying. the equipment and wreckage a battle was choking the shoreline. i recall how it was a feeling of anger and hate.
i knew we had to get to the enemy before we were destroyed. suddenly i saw path. always limon. leading towards the crest that dominated the speech. upon clearing the mafia, we swiftly moved to engage the enemy here on the press. by sheer luck, or perhaps by fates, we found the opening that became the first penetration of the enemy. the path we cleared become the route of our comments to follow. it was the only exit onto the beach until later that day. we are here to recognize and pay homage to those who shaped the course of history. only one who holds the highest
office in this land can express to the world the proud gratitude of our nation to you the man of d-day and so on behalf, of the soldiers of my company, and all of the on warriors. who stormed the speeches and on behalf of our navy and coast guard and air force comrades who fought with us and for us, on behalf of all men and women who served their country in world war ii, it is my special privilege and great honor to present the president of the united states.
chaplain. distinguished leaders of our government. members of congress. members of the armed services. our host. most of all our veterans and their families and friends. in these last days of ceremonies, we have heard wonderful words of tribute. now we come to this hallowed place that speaks more than anything else in silence. here on this quiet plateau on this small piece of american soil, we honor those who gave their lives for us 50 years ago. today, the beaches of normandy
.com. if you want the sores on a summer's day, all you may hear is the laughter of children playing on the same. the cry of signals overhead. perhaps the ringing of a distant church bell. the simple sounds of freedom daily breaking the silence. peaceful cells. ordinary cells. june 6, 1944, it was the least ordinary day of the 20th century. these beaches echoed with the sound of gunfire. they were america. the thunder of bombardment. the wind and waves can the soldiers out of there may be.
away from the youth and towards a savage place. many of them with sally never made. the cancer free to comment. the french resistance. had all come to stop one of the greatest forces of evil. the world is ever knowing. is there is of the invasion broke,, in america, people held their breath. in boston, leaders stood reading the news of the electric side. in new york the statue of liberty blackouts and pearl harbor was lit at sunset for 15 minutes. in new castle pennsylvania, a young mother wrote to her husband frank. a couple in the army. d-day has a right. the first thought of all of us was the prayer. below is on the beaches where the battalion and so many other
americans landed. product names from america's heartland. part of the biggest gamble of the war. the greatest crusade. the longest day. during those 1st hours, nothing seemed to go right. landing krause were ripped apart. tanks sent to protect them had sought. driving the cruise. enemy fire assistant to chest high water and waited past the floating bodies of the common. is the survivors of the first wave behind the seawall, it seemed the invasion might help. hitler and his followers had that honor. they were sure that allied soldiers were soft. weakened by liberty and leisure. by the mingling of races and religion.
they were sure that i told you have more discipline and still. then, something happened. although many of the american troops found themselves without officers on a familiar ground, mr. shoulders they did not know, one by one they got up. together, so the democracy improvised. on these beaches, the forces of freedom turned the tide of the 20th century. the soldiers who staying put that certain that. there were also driven by the voice of free will and responsibility. nurtured in sunday school. was then told him to stand up and move forward. saying you can do it. if you do not, no one else will.
he led his company. and as others followed his lead, they secured a foothold for freedom. today, many of them are here among them. they walk with the littlest spring in their step. the ranks are growing thinner. let us never forget. when they were young, these men saved the world. is now asking them. all the veterans of the normandy campaign to stand up again and be recognized.
those simple sounds of freedom are there voices speaking to us across the years. let us honor all the americans who lost their lives in world war ii. let us remember. may god give rest to all of the cells. 50 years later, when a distant world we live in. germany and japan. liberated by our victory now stand among our closest allies. the staunchest defenders of freedom. russia decimated during the war. frozen afterwards in communism. has been reborn in democracy.
the liberation of this continent is nearly complete. now the question falls to our generation. i will we build upon the sacrifice. we cannot stand still. we cannot stay safe by doing so. awarded today's problems would be our own generations. it also has a purpose and its name is progress. today our mission is to expand for them. to strengthen our family and face. to fight indifference and tolerance. to keep our nation strong. our parents did that and more.
we must do nothing less. the struggle in war so that we may strive in peace. we know that progress is not inevitable. neither was victory upon these beaches. now they tell us to stand up and move forward. three people must choose. 50 years ago, the first soldiers to later in normandy cannot receive it from the sky. they were called pathfinders. the first paratroopers to make the job. they descended upon these fields. for the assault that would soon follow. now, near the dawn of the new century, the job of letting those weekends was to our hands. did you brought us here, i