Speaker Boehner on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day

WASHINGTON, DC - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement on the 70th anniversary of the June 6, 1944, D-Day airborne and amphibious landing of Allied forces, officially known as Operation Overlord:

“In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, came the first reports of the Allied landings on the Normandy beaches of France.  The usual pace of life on the home front ground to a halt as people huddled around radios eagerly awaiting the emerging details.  Americans knew of the importance of these landings.  They knew the outcome of the war was still in doubt and the price in blood to defeat Nazi Germany would be exorbitant—beyond what had already been paid.

“On radio that evening President Franklin D. Roosevelt led the American people in a prayer asking God’s protection for our troops.  ‘Lead them straight and true,’ he prayed, ‘give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.’  His prayer gave clear purpose to their mission, and he asked that all Americans remain in continual prayer for strength.

“Today, 70 years on, Americans should again pause to reflect on the events of D-Day.  For many Allied troops, June 6 was their last day; for others it was the start of an arduous and costly march to victory in Europe.  The American soldiers, sailors, and coast guardsmen sent to Normandy pursued their assignments doggedly.  They exemplified a generation that faced an horrific war with solemnity and courage.  We owe them a debt we cannot repay.

“In the spirit of President Roosevelt’s prayer, we thank God for their success and ask His continued blessing for our troops today who face death to defend our nation.  May God bless America and may we never forget the bravery and sacrifice shown by Allied troops 70 years ago this day.”

NOTE: The 156,000 Allied forces landed in Normandy on June 6 were under the overall command of General (later President) Dwight D. Eisenhower.  American forces were joined by troops from Britain, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Poland.  Together they sustained about 12,000 casualties, including more than 4,000 killed.  The success of these operations led to the defeat of Adolf Hitler in the spring of 1945.