The State Department does not guarantee the
authenticity of documents on the Internet.  If for legal
or other reasons you require the original version of a
document in hard copy, please contact the Office of
Public Communication, Bureau of Public Affairs.
     Note that State Department information is not
copyrighted unless indicated and can be reproduced
without consent.  Citation of source is appreciated.
Permission to reproduce any copyrighted material
(including photos or graphics) must be obtained from the
original source.
The Trip of President Clinton To Europe in Commemoration
of The 50th Anniversary of D-Day, 1944-1994
1.  Italy - The U.S. and Italy Celebrate 50 Years of
Freedom and Democracy
2.  United Kingdom - Remembering World War II Heroes of
the Air and Sea
3.  France - A Tribute to Those Who Fell at Normandy
The U.S. and Italy Celebrate 50 Years of Freedom and
President Clinton
Rome, Italy
Remarks at the Piazza del Campidoglio, June 2, 1994.
Mayor Rutelli, Mrs. Rutelli, Prime Minister Berlusconi,
Mrs. Berlusconi, and citizens of Rome:  For Hillary and
for me, this is a historic moment.  At this site of
ancient glory, we say to you on behalf of all of the
people of the United States:  Greetings.
It is humbling to stand here.  Romulus walked on this
ground.  Michelangelo designed this magnificent place.
Today, we celebrate something worthy of their greatness--
the towering friendship between the United States and
Among the Americans I brought here with me today is a
distinguished member of my Cabinet, the watchful guardian
of our government's budget, and one of America's greatest
sons of Italy--my friend, Leon Panetta.
I know that Washington is not Rome, that dollars are not
lire.  But when the budget is made, taxpayers everywhere
need someone in the government like Leon Panetta who is
paid to say basta--enough.
Because Leon Panetta represents the best of the Italian-
American partnership, and because he has such a good
sense of humor, and because I am deeply in his debt as an
American citizen, I have invited him to translate a part
of my remarks here today.  When he is through, I want the
citizens of Rome to give him a grade on how well he did--
Mr. Panetta.
I am delighted to be in Rome, and I look forward to
returning to Italy to visit Naples next month.  There is
so much of Italy in America--art, music, philosophy, and,
most important, the strength and wisdom of so many of
your sons and daughters.  That bond of blood and spirit
between our people is the heart and soul of our special
relationship.  America and Italy are more than mere
partners, we are now--and forever will be--alleati,
amici, una famiglia.   [Translated by Mr. Panetta.]
So, Leon, grazie.  Thank you for your friendship and for
teaching me a few words of Italian.  Now, all of his
ancestors will rest in peace.
I have come to Europe to recall its cruelest war and to
help secure its lasting peace.  I am honored to begin my
travels here in the Eternal City on the anniversary of
your republic.  A half-century ago, my nation joined a
great crusade to restore liberty on this continent.  But
no moment was prouder than 50 years ago this week when we
joined with you and others to return Rome to its people--
and its people to freedom.
We are still told stories about that great day--church
bells ringing out the song of celebration; children
climbing onto the tanks of the liberators.  One brave
member of the Italian Resistance said, "We cried with
happiness, letting ourselves realize for the first time
how scared we had been."
To honor, we must remember.  Therefore, this week, as the
sons and daughters of democracy, we must resolve never to
forget such hallowed words as Anzio, Nettuno, Salerno,
Normandy.  These names speak of the sacrifices of our
parents and the freedom of their children and
For 50 years now, our people have stood together as Italy
has worked a modern miracle.  You have transformed Italy
into one of the world's great economies.  You have helped
to build NATO--history's greatest military alliance.  And
you have stood firm against Soviet expansion.   America
is grateful for Italy's vital role in our partnership, in
your hosting NATO air operations at Aviano and in the
Adriatic, in your working to build the European Union, in
your investment in the continent's new democracies.
The end of the Cold War is permitting all of us to do the
work of renewal within our nations--to rebuild our
economies, to rebuild our sense of community and common
purpose, to reform our politics.  We must do this.
Cicero said, "Merely to possess virtue as you would art
is not enough unless you apply it."  I believe Italy will
pursue its democratic destiny with virtue and grace.  And
as you pursue that destiny, America will stand with you
and with Europe.
For 50 years, we have stood together to help build peace
and prosperity in Western Europe.  Now let us expand
those blessings across a broader Europe.  So, to all the
Italians here present, to my fellow Americans here
present, and to all the citizens of other nations in this
hallowed place, let us hope that, 50 years from now, the
world will say of us, the children of freedom and
democracy were the builders of lasting peace.  Thank you,
and God bless you.
Nettuno Beach, Italy
Remarks at the U.S. Cemetery, June 3, 1994.
President Scalfaro, Prime Minister Berlusconi, Secretary
Brown, Chaplain Kendall--Mr. Shirley, thank you for that
kind introduction and for your moving rendition of the
To the citizens of Italy who are here, and especially
those of Nettuno who have helped to make this day
possible and every day special at this remarkable place;
to the leaders of our Congress, our Administration, my
fellow Americans, and especially to the veterans and the
active military personnel who have worked so hard to make
this day a success:  We stand today in fields forever
scarred by sacrifice.  Today it is hard to imagine that
this is now a place of peace.  It is lush with the pines
and the cypresses.  But 50 years ago when freedom was in
peril, this field ran with the blood of those who fought
to save the world.
Row upon row of white marble stretches now before us--
7,862 markers in all.  The names of over 3,000 other
Americans still missing are inscribed in the chapel here.
All of them died young.  But a half-century later, their
legacy still lives.  They fought as liberators in Sicily
and Salerno, along the Gustav line, and here at Anzio,
One Italian, moved forever by Salerno, said:
We were tired, hungry, and terrified.  Then overnight,
coming out of the mist as in a dream, the Americans
arrived, bringing us hope and strength.  The price was
enormous.  At Anzio, Nettuno, no one and no place was
safe.  German guns and airpower made every last person
here a combatant--every cook and baker, every driver and
mechanic, every doctor, nurse, and chaplain.  But amid
the horror of the guns something rare was born--a driving
spirit of common cause.
The late Gen. Ernest Harmon, Commander of the 1st Armored
Division, put it well when he said:
All of us were in the same boat.  We were there to stay
or die.  I have never seen anything like it in the two
world wars of my experience--a confidence in unity, an
unselfish willingness to help one another.
That spirit is known as brotherhood.  And that is why the
statue behind us is called Brothers in Arms.
Our duty is to preserve the memory of that spirit--
memories like that of Pvt. Robert Mulreany.  On February
7, 1944, his brother, Pvt. Eugene Mulreany, lay wounded
in the field hospital.  Robert was visiting when they
heard the sound of planes overhead.  As the bombs fell,
Robert threw his body on top of his wounded brother.  He
saved his brother's life, even as he gave his own.
Italy's devastation then seemed total.  I have been told
a story by my cousin about my own father, who served here
in Italy.  Back home, his niece had heard about the
beautiful Italian countryside and wrote him asking for a
single leaf from one of the glorious trees here to take
to school.  My father had only sad news to send back--
there were no leaves; every one had been stripped by the
fury of the battle.
The battle for Italy, as Mr. Shirley so eloquently said,
hastened Hitler's demise.  It cemented the alliance,
supported by the British, French, Canadians, free Poles,
and New Zealanders.  The battle here pulled German troops
away from other fronts.  It yielded vital lessons that
helped to win the day at Normandy.  It  inspired the
Italian Resistance, as the President has said.  Along the
way, the Italians took up their rightful place as loyal
allies.  And they have remained there ever since--through
these 50 years.
The spirit of common cause did not die here.  A
generation of Americans went back home to carry on their
work.  There was a platoon leader from Kansas, savagely
wounded in combat; an anti-aircraft commander from South
Carolina who fought in Corsica; a Hawaiian lieutenant who
lost his arm while in the war's only American fighting
force of Japanese ancestry; and a coastguardsman from
Rhode Island who served in Sicily.  Today we know them as
Robert Dole, Ernest Hollings, Daniel Inouye, and
Claiborne Pell--each a young American who came of age
here; each an American patriot who went home to build up
our nation.  We honor what they have given to America in
the United States Senate as we honor what they did for us
here.  Thank you, gentlemen.
Fifty years later, we can see the difference their
generation has made.  America is strong; freedom is on
the march.  Here in Italy, the glorious trees--like the
country--have been restored to life.
Too many Americans do not know what that generation did.
Somewhere in America, a child rummaging in an attic may
find a war medal or a black and white photo of a younger
but familiar face in uniform.  But we cannot leave memory
to chance.  We must recall Elie Weisel's commandment to
fight forgetfulness.  We must apply it to the valor as
much as to the horror--for to honor, we must remember.
And then we must go forward, for our job is not only to
praise their deeds but to pursue their dreams; not only
to recall their sacrifices for freedom but to renew
freedom's promise once again.
We are the sons and daughters of the world they saved.
Now our moment for common cause has come.  It is up to us
to ensure a world of peace and prosperity for yet another
generation.  Thank you, and God bless you all. (###)
Remembering World War II Heroes Of the Air and Sea
President Clinton
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Remarks at the U.S. Cemetery, June 4, 1994.
Mr. Prime Minister and Mrs. Major, Mr. MacLean, Chaplain,
Secretary Bentsen:  Thank you for your fine remarks.  To
our British hosts and to all the distinguished Americans
who are also here, Members of the Congress, the
Administration, and the Armed Forces, we have come here
today, all of us, on a journey of remembrance.
For some, like Secretary Bentsen, it was a journey to
retrace time, to go back 50 summers and more when they
took to airfields like these.  For others, it is a
journey to honor those who fought and those who died for
the world in which we came of age.  In this moment, all
of us are joined in a sense of pride, in a sense of
indebtedness, in a sense of wonder, and in a sense of
determination to carry on that work and never forget.
On these ancient grounds, 3,812 Americans are buried--
airmen, soldiers, and sailors.  More than 5,000 others
are remembered on the Wall of the Missing.  The names of
some we honor still echo in our nation's memory--names
like Joseph Kennedy, Jr., the brother of our late
President, a young man for whom a distinguished political
career was predicted, who gave his life for our country,
or Glenn Miller, whose wonderful Moonlight Serenade
soothed a savage world and still makes us tap our feet.
In death, all these people named on the Wall and buried
behind us were equal.  They came from every State in the
Union.  They were of many races and religions.  They had
names like Carillo, Kaufman, and Wood.  They were, all of
them, Americans.  They fought to defeat a great evil
which threatened to destroy our very way of life--what
Winston Churchill called "the great principles of freedom
and the rights of man," which are the joint inheritance
of the English-speaking world.
For long months, Britain bravely carried on that fight
alone.  During the Battle of Britain, night after
frightful night, the people of this besieged island
withstood the attack of Nazi bombers.  It was their
finest hour.  Amid the horror, the British looked west
for help.  Then the Yanks came, deepening one of
history's most profound bonds.
Overnight, it seems, tens of thousands of GI's filled the
streets and camps across southern England.  All these
many years later we find the memories of many of them
very vivid--smiling GI's tossing packs of spearmint gum
to British schoolboys, new faces and funny accents at
corner pubs, Lindy Hops in London, kids from Milwaukee
invited in for high tea, all in uniforms filling the pews
at British churches.
America gave England an infusion of arms and men and
materiel.  The British gave our troops the feeling that
they were not so far from home after all.  The British
gave us inspiration; the Americans gave, in return, hope.
At every level, Yanks and Brits worked together like
family.  American intelligence services built on
Britain's brilliant successes which were pure chronicles
in breaking the German code.  General Eisenhower chose
British marshals to be his deputies.  Of course--
Montgomery and Ramsay and Tedder, Roosevelt and
Churchill--even as they led the assault on tyranny and
rallied their own people to support the crusade and
encouraged each other with personal notes, all shared a
sense of friendship that sustained them through the
darkest moments of the war.  All shared a faith that our
people, nurtured on freedom, would rise to the call of
history.  Nowhere was our bond more important than in the
air war launched from the green fields like this one.
The Royal Air Force and the Army Air Corps joined in
countless sorties to cripple the Luftwaffe, to decimate
the Nazi war machine, and to soften the Atlantic wall.
One British citizen remembered:  "For a thousand days,
the sky was never still."
It was some of the most dangerous work of the war, and
the tales of valor still amaze us all--pilots going down
with burning flames to give the rest of the crew just a
few more seconds to get out; the two crew members who
shared the only parachute on board as they jumped
together from their burning plane over England; the
Marauders, Liberators, Mustangs, and Flying Fortresses;
the Halifaxes and Mosquitoes.  They were all sturdy.  But
as one American remembered:  "The flack sometimes seemed
so thick you could walk on it."  The wild blue yonder
above Europe could quickly turn cold,  gray, and lethal.
In the two months just before D-Day, the Allied forces
lost over 2,000 planes and over 12,000 men.  Because of
their sacrifice, by June 6, 1944, the Allies owned the
air.  Under the shield of that air supremacy, our ships
crossed the channels, our men crossed the beaches.
A few days after the Normandy landing, General Eisenhower
stood on the beaches of France with his young son, John,
recently a graduate of West Point, and told him:  "If I
didn't have the air supremacy, I wouldn't be here."
After D-Day, the Air Corps continued to fly toward
freedom's horizon, until the entire continent was
retained and a world was set free.
The victory of the generation we honor today came at a
high cost.  It took many lives and much perseverance.
After D-Day, it took freedom another year to reach the
Elbe, and it took another 44 years to reach Warsaw,
Prague, and East Berlin.  And now it has reached Kiev and
Moscow and even beyond.  The mission of this time is to
secure and expand its reach further.
Secretary Bentsen mentioned that the airmen who flew
these skies had a ritual for signaling to their comrades
on the ground at the end of a mission.  As they were
coming in for landing, if they fired off a red flare it
meant that there were casualties aboard; and if they
fired off a green flare, it meant some lucky pilot had
just completed his last mission before shipping out.
The generation that won the Second World War completed
their mission, whether they walk among us or lie among us
today.  And after looking down in sorrow at those who
paid the ultimate price, let us lift our eyes to the
skies in which they flew, the ones they once commanded.
And let us send them a signal--a signal of our own, a
signal that we do remember, that we do honor, and that we
shall always carry on the work of these knights borne on
wings.  May God bless them and all our people.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Remarks to the crew of the USS George Washington, June 5,
Thank you very much.  And thank you, Captain Sprigg.
Thank you, gentlemen, for that welcome.  It's nice to be
Just a few moments ago, my wife and I were on the royal
yacht Britannia with the heads of 15 nations around the
world.  When we passed by the George Washington, they
were all ecstatic.  They asked me questions about this
magnificent carrier, and thankfully, I had done my
homework and I could answer them.  So you now have 15
more fans around the world--thanks to this wonderful day.
Exactly 50 years ago at this very time, young people just
like you were right here in this channel on some 5,000
ships preparing for the most important battle of this
century.  Imagine how they must have felt, in choppy seas
and bad weather.  Imagine how they must have looked to
the enemy when they came across the horizon.  Imagine
what the enemy forces would have thought then if they had
seen this magnificent ship.
You are, beyond question, the best-trained and the best-
equipped fighting force the world has ever known.  And I
want you to know that I am committed unequivocally,
absolutely, to ensuring that you continue to have what
you need to do your job.  You deserve it.  Our security
demands it.
Let me also say that it has been one of the great honors
of my life to be able to come here to represent our
entire country in commemorating D-Day    and the other
great battles of World War II.  Yesterday, I was near
Cambridge, England, at the magnificent cemetery which has
over 3,800 Americans buried there who were part of the
air war against Germany, and on the wall a list of 5,000
others who never returned.  I was with a man from my home
state who flew 149 missions in that difficult endeavor.
This has been a very emotional time for Hillary and me.
Her father was in the Navy during the Second World War;
my father was in the Army in part of the Italian
campaign.  Yesterday and the day before--when we
commemorated the landings at Anzio and Nettuno--were
incredible experiences.
Just before I came aboard here, I met some other proud
veterans of World War II who made the crossing on the USS
Jeremiah O'Brien, a World War II Liberty ship.  You have
seen it, I'm sure.  It's right here near you.  It was one
of the many ships that were part of the lend-lease
program, bringing aid to the British even before the
United States formally entered the war.
As I met with them--and now as I look out at all of you
and hear your enthusiasm and your strength--I am reminded
that for all of our incredible technological advances,
the strength of our military is not really in our ships,
our tanks, or our aircrafts--it is in you, the dedicated
professionalism of the men and women of the United States
armed forces.
Even though the Cold War is over, we are still on the eve
of great endeavors--not to turn back armies of oppression
which threaten our very existence, but to protect our
safety and security and to expand the blessings of
liberty.  This work will not be done in a day or a  year;
it will not be finished during the term of your service;
it may not be finished in the life of this great nation,
but it must continue.  It will take you all across the
globe, from the Adriatic to the Indian Ocean, from the
Persian Gulf to the Sea of Japan.
As we honor those who served in World War II, we must
also honor those of you who serve now, who are continuing
the legacy they left us.  For if we learned any lesson
from the magnificent, heroic, almost unbelievable
endeavor of D-Day, it was that if the allies would stay
together and stay strong, we would never need another D-
Day.  That is what you are guaranteeing, and your country
is deeply in your debt.
Let me also say, as I conclude my remarks and
congratulate those who are re-enlisting, I know this has
been a difficult time for many young people who wanted to
commit their careers   to our armed forces because of the
downsizing that inevitably came.  I want you to know:
1.   We are more than halfway through;
2.  It will be over in two years and;
3.  There will be more advancement this year than last
year, more advancement next year than this year.
We still need you.  We need your devotion.  We need your
talent.  And the military of the United States is still
going to be an important and good place to make a career
because it is still defending the security of the
greatest nation in the history of the world.
Now I would like to introduce--to continue the re-
enlistment--the new Chief of Naval Operations, a man who
has done a terrific job for our country in dealing with
the problems in Bosnia and elsewhere throughout his naval
career, a man who has come a long way since he started--
Adm. Mike Boorda.  Please welcome him. (###)
A Tribute to Those Who Fell At Normandy
President Clinton
Normandy, France
Remarks honoring the role of the U.S. Navy in the
Normandy Invasion, June 6, 1994.
Thank you very much, Mr. Rockwell, Mr. Secretary,
Admiral, Captain Sprigg, Chaplains, distinguished leaders
of the Congress, the Cabinet, members of the armed
services, veterans, family, and friends:  This new and
historically accurate dawn reminds us of that dawn 50
years ago that brought a new era, when thousands of
warships assembled to begin Europe's liberation.  Allied
naval guns unleashed a storm of fire on Normandy's
beaches as the sky brightened to a cold gray.  Legions of
young men packed into landing crafts set out to take
those beaches.
After more than a year of brilliant planning by General
Eisenhower and his allied staff and those who were here
even before, and one agonizing weather-caused delay, D-
Day arrived at last, exactly 50 years ago this day.  We
gather in the calm after sunrise today to remember that
fateful morning--the pivot point of the war, perhaps the
pivot point of the 20th century.
But we should never forget that at this hour on June 6,
1944, victory seemed far from certain.  The weather was
menacing, the seas were churning, the enemy was dug in.
Though the plans had been prepared in great detail, chaos
of battle can overwhelm the best laid plans, and for some
of our units the plans went awry.  Indeed, General
Eisenhower had already drafted a statement in case the
operation did not succeed.
As H-Hour approached, everyone in the invasion was forced
to prepare in his own way.  We know now from the records
that some soldiers and sailors wrote to their wives back
home or to children they had never held.  Some played
dice, hoping for a string of good luck.  Others tried to
read, and many simply prayed.  One Jewish officer, Capt.
Irving Gray, asked the chaplain on his landing craft to
lead a prayer
to the God in whom we all believe, whether Protestant or
Catholic or Jew, that our mission might be accomplished
and that we may be brought safely home again.
Back home, as news of the invasion reached our fellow
Americans, Americans spoke softly to God.  In one
Brooklyn shipyard, welders knelt down on the decks of
their liberty ship and said, together, "The Lord's
Prayer."  The soldiers who landed on Utah and Omaha
needed those prayers, for they entered a  scene of
terrible carnage.  Thousands would never return.  For
those who did, it was faith in their Maker's mercy and
their own ability that helped to carry the day.  It was
also raw courage and love of freedom and country.
One of the most stirring tales of D-Day is that to which
the Secretary of the Navy has already referred--the tale
of the USS Corry.  Ripped by mines while blasting enemy
positions on Utah Beach, the Corry began to go under.
But one man stayed aboard.  He climbed the stern, removed
the flag, and swam and scrambled to the main mast.
There, he ran up the flag.  As he swam off, our flag
opened into the breeze.  In the Corry's destruction,
there was no defeat.  Today, the wreckage of that ship
lies directly beneath us, an unseen monument to those who
helped to win this great war.  Thirteen of the Corry's
crew rest there as well, and these waters are forever
sanctified by their sacrifice.
Fifty years ago, General Eisenhower concluded his order
of the day with these words:
Let us all beseech the blessing of almighty God upon this
great and noble undertaking.
As we begin this new day of remembrance, let us also ask
God's blessing for all those who died for freedom 50
years ago and for the Americans who carry on their noble
work today.  May God bless them, and may God bless
Pointe du Hoc, Normandy, France
Remarks on the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1994.
General Downing, Mr. Hathaway, honored leaders of our
military, distinguished veterans and members  of the
armed services, family, and friends--my fellow Americans:
We stand on sacred soil.  Fifty years ago at this place a
miracle of liberation began.  On that morning,
democracy's forces landed to end the enslavement of
Around 7 am, Lt. Col. James Earl Rudder, 2d Ranger
Battalion, United States Army, led 224 men onto the
beaches below and up these unforgiving cliffs.  Bullets
and grenades came down upon them, but by a few minutes
after 7, here--exactly here--the first Rangers stood.
Today, let us ask those American heroes to stand again.
Cpl. Ken Bargmann, who sits here to my right, was one of
them.  He had just celebrated his 20th birthday out in
the Channel.  A young man like all the rest of them--cold
and wet, far from home, preparing for the challenge of
his life.  Ken Bargmann and the other Rangers of Pointe
du Hoc and all the other Americans, British, Canadians,
and Free French who landed, were the tip of a spear the
free world had spent years sharpening--a spear they began
on this morning in 1941 to plunge into the heart of the
Nazi empire.  Most of them were new to war, but all were
armed with the ingenuity of free citizens and the
confidence that they fought for a good cause under the
gaze of a loving God.
The fortunate ones would go home changed forever.
Thousands would never return.  Today we mourn their loss.
But on that gray dawn, millions--literally millions--of
people on this continent awaited their arrival.  Young
Anne Frank wrote in her diary these words:
It's no exaggeration to say that all, Amsterdam, all
Holland, yes, the whole west coast of Europe talks about
the invasion day and night, debates about it, makes bets
on it, and hopes.  I have the feeling friends are
The young men who came fought for the very survival of
democracy.  Just four years earlier, some thought
democracy's day had passed.  Hitler was rolling across
Europe.  In America, factories worked at only half
capacity.  Our people were badly divided over what to do.
The future seemed to belong to the dictators.  They
sneered at democracy, its mingling of races and
religions, and its tolerance of dissent.  They were sure
we didn't have what it took.
Well, they didn't know James Rudder or Ken Bargmann or
the other men of D-Day.  They didn't understand what
happens when the free unite behind a great and worthy
cause.  For human miracles begin with personal choices--
millions of them gathered together as one, like the stars
of a majestic galaxy.  Here at this place, in Britain, in
North America, and among Resistance fighters in France
and across Europe, all those numberless choices came
together:  the choices of lion-hearted leaders to rally
their people; the choices of people to mobilize for
freedom's fight; the choices of their soldiers to carry
on that fight into a world worn weary by devastation and
Every person in the democracies pitched in--every
shipbuilder who built a landing craft; every woman who
worked in a factory; every farmer who grew food for the
troops;  every miner who carved coal out of a cavern;
every child who tended a victory garden--all of them did
their part.  All produced things with their hands and
their hearts that went into this battle.  And on D-Day,
all across the free world, the peoples of democracy
prayed that they had done their job right.  Well, they
had done their job right.
And here, you, the Army Rangers, did yours. Your mission
was to scale these cliffs and destroy the howitzers at
the top that threatened every allied soldier and ship
within miles.  You fired grappling hooks onto the cliff
tops.  You waded to shore, and you began to climb up on
ropes slick with sea and sand--up, as the Germans shot
down and tried to cut your lines--up, sometimes holding
to the cliffs with nothing but the knives you had and
your own bare hands.
As the battle raged at Juno, Sword, and Gold, on Omaha
and Utah, you took devastating casualties.  But you also
took control of these commanding heights.  Around 9 am,
two Rangers discovered the big guns hidden inland and
disabled them with heat grenades.  At that moment, you
became the first Americans on D-Day to complete your
We look at this terrain and we marvel at your fight.  We
look around us and we see what you were fighting for.
For here are the daughters of Colonel Rudder.  Here are
the son and grandson of Corporal Bargmann.  Here are the
faces for whom you risked your lives.  Here are the
generations for whom you won a war.  We are the children
of your sacrifice.  We are the sons and daughters you
saved from tyranny's reach.  We grew up behind the shield
of the strong alliances you forged in blood upon these
beaches, on the shores of the Pacific, and in the skies
above.  We flourished in the nation you came home to
The most difficult days of your lives bought us 50 years
of freedom.  You did your job; now we must do ours.  Let
us begin by teaching our young people about the villainy
that started this war and the valor that ended it.  Let
us carry on the work you began here.  The sparks of
freedom you struck on these beaches were never
extinguished, even in the darkest days behind the Iron
Curtain.  Five years ago, the miracle of liberation was
repeated as the rotting timbers of communism came
tumbling down.
Now we stand at the start of a new day.  The Soviet
empire is gone.  So many people who fought as our
partners in this war--the Russians, the Poles, and
others--now stand again as our partners in peace and
democracy.  Our work is far from done.  Still there are
cliffs to scale.  We must work to contain the world's
most deadly weapons and to expand the reach of democracy.
We must keep ready arms and strong alliances.  We must
have strong families and cohesive societies, educated
citizens, and vibrant, open, economies that promote
cooperation, not conflict.
If we should ever falter, we need only remember you at
this spot  50 years ago and you, again, at this  spot
today.  The flame of your youth became freedom's lamp,
and we see its light reflected in your faces still and in
the faces of your children and grandchildren.
We commit ourselves, as you did, to keep that lamp
burning for those who will follow.  You completed your
mission here.  But the mission of freedom goes on; the
battle continues. The "longest day" is not yet over.  God
bless you, and God bless America.
Utah Beach, Normandy, France
Remarks on the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1994.
Thank you very much, General Talbott, Secretary Perry,
and Secretary Brown.  Let me begin by asking all the
veterans here present--their families, their friends, the
people from France who have been wonderful hosts to us--
to acknowledge those who worked so hard to make these D-
Day ceremonies a great success.  General Joulwan, the SAC
here, and his European command; 2,700 members of the
armed forces who worked to put these events together; and
the Secretary of the Army's World War II commemorative
committee, Gen. Mick Kicklighter and all of his
committee.  Let's give them a big hand. They have done a
wonderful job.
My fellow Americans, we have gathered to remember those
who stormed this beach for freedom and who never came
home.  We pay tribute to what a whole generation of
heroes won here.  But let us also recall what was lost
here.  We must never forget that thousands of people gave
everything they were, or what they might have become, so
that freedom might live.
The loss along this coastline numbs us still.  In one
U.S. company alone, 197 of 205 men were slaughtered in
just 10 minutes.  Hundreds of young men died before they
could struggle 20 feet into the red-tinged tide.
Thousands upon thousands of American, Canadian, and
British troops were killed or wounded on one brutal day.
But in the face of that mayhem emerged the confident
clarity born of relentless training and the guiding light
of a just cause.  Here at Utah Beach, with the Army's 4th
Division in the lead, the Allies unleashed their
democratic fury on the Nazi armies.
So many of them landed in the wrong place--they found
their way. When one commanding officer, Russell "Red"
Reeder, discovered the error, he said, "It doesn't
matter.  We know where to go."
Here to help point the way were the fighters of the
French Resistance.  We must never forget how much those
who lived under the Nazi fist did to make D-Day possible.
For the French, D-Day was the 1,453d day of their
occupation.  Throughout all those terrible days, people
along this coast kept faith.  Whether gathering
intelligence, carving out escape routes for Allied
soldiers, or destroying enemy supply lines, they, too,
kept freedom's flame alive with a terrible price.
Thousands were executed.  Thousands more died in
concentration camps.  Oh, the loved ones of all who died,
no matter what their nationality, they all feel a loss
that cannot be captured in these statistics.  Only one
number matters--the husband who can never be replaced,
the best friend who never came home, the father who never
played with his child again.
One of those fathers who died on D-Day had written a
letter home to his wife and their daughter barely a month
before the invasion.  He said,
I sincerely pray that if you fail to hear from me for a
while you will recall the words of the Gospel:  "A little
while and you shall not see me, and again a little while,
and you shall see me."  But in your thoughts I shall
always be, and you in mine.
He was right.  They must always be in our thoughts.  To
honor them, we must remember.
The people of this coast understand.  Just beyond this
beach is the town of Ste. Mere Eglise.  There, brave
American paratroopers floated into a tragic ambush on D-
Day, and there the survivors rallied to complete their
mission.  The mayor's wife, Simone Renaud, wrote the
families of the Americans who had fought and died to free
her village.  And she kept on writing them every week for
the rest of her life until she died just six years ago.
Her son, Henri-Jean Renaud, carries on her vigil now, and
he has vowed never to forget, saying:  "I will dedicate
myself to the memory of their sacrifice for as long as I
We must do no less.  We must carry on the work of those
who did not return and those who did.  We must turn the
pain of loss into the power of redemption so that 50 or
100 or 1,000 years from now, those who bought our liberty
with their lives will never be forgotten.
To those of you who have survived and have come back to
this hallowed ground, let me say that the rest of us know
that the most difficult days of your lives brought us 50
years of freedom.  Thank you, and God bless you all.
Colleville-sur-Mer, France
Remarks at the U.S. Cemetery, June 6, 1994.
Mr. Dawson, you did your men proud today.  General
Shalikashvili, Mr. Cronkite; Chaplain; distinguished
leaders of our government; Members of Congress; members
of the armed services; our hosts from France; and most of
all--our veterans, their families, and their 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
crowded years ago.
Today, the beaches of Normandy are calm.  If you walk
these shores on a summer's day, all you might hear is the
laughter of children playing on the sand, or the cry of
seagulls overhead, or perhaps the ringing of a distant
church bell--the simple sounds of freedom barely breaking
the silence, peaceful silence, ordinary silence.
But June 6, 1944, was the least ordinary day of the 20th
century.  On that chilled dawn, these beaches echoed with
the sounds of staccato gunfire, the roar of aircraft, and
the thunder of bombardment.  Through the wind and the
waves came the soldiers, out of their landing craft and
into the water, away from their youth and toward a savage
place many of them would, sadly, never leave.  They had
come to free a continent--the Americans, the British, the
Canadians, the Poles, the French Resistance, the
Norwegians, and others--they had all come to stop one of
the greatest forces of evil the world has ever known.
As news of the invasion broke back home in America,
people held their breath.  In Boston, commuters stood
reading the news on the electric sign at South Station.
In New York, the Statue of Liberty, its torch blacked out
since Pearl Harbor, was lit at sunset for 15 minutes.
And in Newcastle, Pennsylvania, a young mother named
Pauline Elliot wrote to her husband, Frank, a corporal in
the Army, "D-Day has arrived.  The first thought of all
of us was a prayer."
Below us are the beaches where Corporal Elliot's
battalion and so many other Americans landed--Omaha and
Utah, proud names from America's heartland--part of the
biggest gamble of the war, the greatest crusade, yes, the
longest day.
During those first hours on bloody Omaha, nothing seemed
to go right.  Landing craft were ripped apart by mines
and shells.  Tanks sent to protect them had sunk,
drowning their crews.  Enemy fire raked the invaders as
they stepped into chest-high water and waded past the
floating bodies of their comrades.  And as the stunned
survivors of the first wave huddled behind a seawall, it
seemed the invasion might fail.  Hitler and his followers
had bet on it.  They were sure the Allied soldiers were
soft--weakened by liberty and leisure, and by the
mingling of races and religions.  They were sure their
totalitarian youth had more discipline and zeal.
But then something happened. Although many of the
American troops found themselves without officers on
unfamiliar ground, next to soldiers they didn't know, one
by one they got up.  They inched forward, and together,
in groups of threes and fives and tens--the sons of
democracy improvised and mounted their own attacks.  At
that exact moment on these beaches, the forces of freedom
turned the tide of the 20th century.
These soldiers knew that staying put meant certain death.
But they were also driven by the voice of free will and
responsibility--nurtured in Sunday schools, town halls,
and sandlot ballgames--the voice that told them to stand
up and move forward, saying, "You can do it.  And if you
don't, no one else will."  As Capt. Joe Dawson led his
company up this bluff, and as others followed his lead,
they secured a foothold for freedom.
Today, many of them are here among us.  Oh, they may walk
with a little less spring in their step and their ranks
are growing thinner, but let us never forget that when
they were young, these men saved the world.  And so let
us now ask them--all the veterans of the Normandy
campaign--to stand, if they can, and be recognized.
The freedom they fought for was no abstract concept; it
was the stuff of their daily lives.  Listen to what Frank
Elliot had written to his wife from the embarkation point
in England:
I miss hamburgers a la Coney Island, American beer a la
Duquesne, American shows a la Penn Theater, and American
girls a la you.
Pauline Elliot wrote back on June 6, as she and their
one-year-old daughter listened on the radio:
Little DeRonda is the only one not affected by D-Day
news.  I hope and pray she will never remember any of
this, but only the happiness of the hours that will
follow her daddy's homecoming step on the porch.
Well, millions of our GI's did return home from that war
to build up our nation and to enjoy life's sweet
pleasures.  But on this field there are 9,386 who did
not--33 pairs of brothers; a father and his son; 11 men
from tiny Bedford, Virginia; and Cpl. Frank Elliot--
killed near these bluffs by a German shell on D-Day.
They were the fathers we never knew, the uncles we never
met, the friends who never returned, the heroes we can
never repay.  They gave us our world.  And those simple
sounds of freedom we hear today are their voices speaking
to us across the years.
At this place, let us honor all the Americans who lost
their lives in World War II.  Let us remember, as well,
that over 40 million human beings from every side
perished--soldiers on the field of battle, Jews in the
ghettos and death camps, and civilians ravaged by shell
fire and famine.  May God give rest to all their souls.
Fifty years later, what a different world we live in.
Germany, Japan, and Italy, liberated by our victory, now
stand among our closest allies and the staunchest
defenders of freedom.  Russia, decimated during the war
and frozen afterward in communism and cold war, has been
reborn in democracy.  And as freedom rings from Prague to
Kiev, the liberation of this continent is nearly
Now the question falls to our generation:  How will we
build upon the sacrifice of D-Day's heroes?  Like the
soldiers of Omaha Beach, we cannot stand still.  We
cannot stay safe by doing so.  Avoiding today's problems
would be our own generation's appeasements.  For just as
freedom has a price, it also has a purpose, and its name
is progress.  Today, our mission is to expand freedom's
reach forward; to test the full potential of each of our
own citizens; to strengthen our families, our faith, and
our communities; to fight indifference and intolerance;
to keep our Nation strong; and to light the lives of
those still dwelling in the darkness of undemocratic
rule.  Our parents did that and more--we must do nothing
less.  They struggled in war so that we might strive in
We know that progress is not inevitable.  But neither was
victory upon these beaches.  Now, as then, the inner
voice tells us to stand up and move forward.  Now, as
then, free people must choose.
Fifty years ago, the first allied soldiers to land here
in Normandy came not from the sea but from the sky. They
were called Pathfinders, the first paratroopers to make
the jump.  Deep in the darkness, they descended upon
these fields to light beacons for the airborne assaults
that would soon follow.  Now, near the dawn of a new
century, the job of lighting those beacons falls to our
To you who brought us here, I promise we will be the new
pathfinders, for we are the children of your sacrifice.
Thank you, and God bless  you all.
Text from Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents,
June 13, 1994.
Paris, France
Remarks at an official dinner with President Mitterrand,
June 7, 1994.
Mr. President, Madame Mitterrand, distinguished citizens
of France, my fellow Americans, and honored guests:  This
week, as our two nations mark the 50th anniversary of D-
Day and the battles of World War II, I'm glad to have
this chance to note the special place France will always
have in America's heart.
So many of our greatest sons and daughters have shared
that attachment.  Our first two ministers to this great
land were Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.
Franklin Roosevelt loved France.  So did John and
Jacqueline Kennedy.  As President, every day as I go to
work, I am reminded of the bond between our two nations.
The park across the street from the White House is
Lafayette Park.  No statue in all of Washington stands
closer to the Oval Office itself than that of Rochambeau.
Today we are building new bonds between our republics as
we work together to address the great endeavors of our
time, many of which the President has already outlined--
building bridges toward the East, opening the world
markets, doing what we can to support democracy, working
to strengthen the NATO alliance and to unify Europe
through the Partnership for Peace, and cooperating to
address the most difficult and painful conflicts of this
era.  Mr. President, the United States supports a strong
Europe, an integrated Europe, a Europe with political,
economic, and security--unity and singleness of purpose
with its appreciation of diversity.
We wish to be partners with you   in the common struggles
of the 21st century.  The fact that we have, sometimes, a
difficult partnership makes it all the more interesting
and also makes some things in life less necessary.  Our
wonderful Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, once said,
"Our enemies are our friends, for they show us our
faults."  Sometimes with the French and the Americans we
no longer need enemies.  But it is always in the spirit
of goodwill and brotherhood.
I can honestly say that with every passing day of my
presidency, I come to appreciate France more--the
strength, the will, the vision, the possibilities of
genuine partnership.  I think it is our common destiny,
as you alluded, Mr. President, to see that our countries
remain forever young; forever restless; forever questing;
forever looking for new hills to climb, new challenges to
meet, new problems to solve.
As I was preparing for this visit, I was given something
by another of America's greatest admirers of your nation,
our ambassador, Mrs. Harriman.  She sent me a poem
composed in memory of the gallant soldiers who died on D-
Day--from the members of the Allied effort to storm the
beaches of Normandy to the shadow warriors of the French
Resistance and the free French army, without whom Europe
would not be free today.  Here it is:
Went the day well; He died and never knew. But well or
ill, freedom we died for you.
Mr. President, the United States and France are destined
forever to be the beacons of freedom for the entire
world.  Please join me now in a toast to the democratic
spirit of our beloved nations, to the heroes of D-Day
whose sacrifices we came to honor, and to the proposition
that the spirit of liberty should burn forever brightly
in the hearts of all the people of France and the United
States of America. (###)

To the top of this page

Index of Dispatch Magazine Archives 1994 Issues|| Index of Dispatch Magazine Archives|| Index of "Briefings and Statements"
Index of Electronic Research Collections ERC Reference Desk || Alphabetic Index || Sitemap || ERC Homepage
Last modified: Jun. 8, 1999