June 6, 2014

Senator Portman and Senator Landrieu’s Effort to Commemorate FDR's D-Day Prayer with the Nation at the WWII Memorial Passes Senate

On the eve of the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, the World War II Memorial Prayer Act of 2013 (S.1044), bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.), passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent.  Portman and Landrieu’s legislation would direct the Secretary of the Interior to install a plaque or inscription at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. honoring the words that President Franklin D. Roosevelt prayed with the nation on June 6, 1944.  Portman originally introduced the bill last Congress with Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), and a companion bill, led by Ohio Congressman Bill Johnson, passed the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly during the 112th Congress by a vote of 386-26.

“Every day, countless Americans volunteer to serve our country.  Many more before them have made the greatest sacrifice of all, giving their lives to defend our freedoms. On D-Day, our nation mourned our men overseas who fell while combatting tyranny. President Roosevelt asked us to come together to pray for these courageous heroes, and his words provided strength and comfort to a grieving nation,” said Sen. Portman. “At no cost to the taxpayer, our bill will immortalize this extraordinary prayer on the World War II Memorial so it becomes a permanent reminder of the sacrifice of not just those who fought in World War II, but also of the men and women who fight for us today and all those who lay down their lives for the cause of liberty. Now that the bill has passed the Senate, we are one step closer to ensuring that this powerful prayer will be added to the World War II Memorial, and I urge swift passage in the House of Representatives.”

“The prayer that will be included on the WWII memorial is not about how the war was won, but about why it was fought"... (READ MORE)

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Speaker Boehner on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day

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... (READ MORE)

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On the 10th Anniversary of His Passing, Remembering Ronald Reagan’s Address Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of D-Day

Remarks to Veterans at Pointe du Hoc

We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For 4 long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but 40 years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers -- the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to climb over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe... (READ MORE)

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