Personal Memories Recalled By Biden’s Honoring Our WW II heroes On D-Day

By Donald A. Collins | 9 June 2024
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

President Biden’s June 6th speech at Pointe Du Huc in France on the 80th anniversary of the landing of our troops at Omaha Beach in World War II provoked in my wife Sally Epstein and me a special memory of being at that special cemetery on a trip to Europe sometime in the 90s but not on the June 6th, 1944 occasion. Americans are so attracted to come to see this place where the so-called Longest Day started to reflect on the dire circumstances that America faced against the Nazis.

Some years before, I had been at this special place. On that earlier occasion, standing in the cemetery looking down at the first tombstone in a single row of those the many white marble crosses, I could only see the first cross in any given row as they are so perfectly aligned. France after the war ceded to the USA ownership of that sacred ground.

On that second visit, our tour guide, John Meffert, with whom we have taken so many memorable trips, arranged a lunch near the cemetery which included David Eisenhower and his wife Julie Nixon Eisenhower. John included us and one other woman at that lunch. We had a very pleasant conversation, not in any way a political one, although I was honored to tell David how much I admired his grandfather.

We all reconvened afterwards at the cemetery where David made a very moving presentation to a large, assembled audience about the importance of constantly reminding us of the cost of maintaining our freedom as we honor their sacrifices.

As Biden so movingly recalled in his presentation and as Wikipedia reports, “At Pointe du Hoc, the task for the two hundred men of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel James Rudder, was to scale the 30 metres (98 ft) cliffs with ropes and ladders to destroy the gun battery located there. While under fire from above, the men scaled the cliff, only to discover that the guns had already been withdrawn. The Rangers located the weapons, unguarded but ready to use, in an orchard some 550 metres (600 yd) south of the point, and disabled them. Under attack, the men at the point became isolated, and some were captured. By dawn on D+1 (7 June), Rudder had only 90 men able to fight. Relief did not come until D+2 (8 June), when members of the 743rd Tank Battalion arrived”.

You can read the full story here.

Our tour group also went down to another location on that beachfront (as you recall there were five different places where American and other forces made landing that fateful day) and David Eisenhower made another presentation to the crowd assembled there.

Biden in his speech never once mentioned the name of Donald Trump, but clearly the purpose of the speech included making people conscious of the incredibly dangerous behavior of the former president and the prospects of dire circumstances should he be reelected on November 5.

The AP story entitled “Biden looks to Pointe du Hoc to inspire the push for democracy abroad and at home” stated

The same spot was etched in the nation’s political memory in 1984, when President Ronald Reagan honored the “boys of Pointe du Hoc” and drew common cause between their almost unthinkable feat in the face of Nazi Germany’s tyranny and the Reagan-era Cold War struggle against the Soviet Union.

Now, Biden sought to channel both historic moments to advance his own vision for the country’s global role in the face of two grueling wars and in an election year when former President Trump has continued to lie about his 2020 election loss and has threatened to dismantle U.S. commitments overseas if he regains the White House.

“As we gather here today, it’s not just to honor those who showed such remarkable bravery that day June 6, 1944,” Biden said. “It’s to listen to the echo of their voices. To hear them. Because they are summoning us. They’re asking us what will we do. They’re not asking us to scale these cliffs. They’re asking us to stay true to what America stands for.”

“Before flying to Normandy, Biden sat down with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday in Paris, where he stressed the U.S. commitment to Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion and for the first time publicly apologized to the Ukrainian people for a monthslong congressional holdup in American military assistance that let Moscow make battlefield gains. It was their first meeting since Biden signed the legislation authorizing the additional military assistance. He also announced a new $225 million in ammunition shipments, including rockets, mortars, artillery rounds and air-defense missiles.

“I apologize for those weeks of not knowing what’s going to happen in terms of funding,” Biden said, but insisted that the American people were standing by Ukraine for the long haul. “We’re still in. Completely. Thoroughly,” he said.

Read the full column here.

Clearly the inability of the MAGA controlled GOP US House to act for months on Ukraine’s desperate need for military aid was in Biden’s crosshairs!

As the ranting, false accusations of Trump’s campaign speeches continue if elected to promise retribution, intimidation and immigration deportation, it may dawn on some of his devoted supporters what in fact is now clear to any knowledgeable observer that Trump is mentally unbalanced. This will be more and more evident as the campaign progresses.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?”, “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”, “Can Our U.S. Survive 8 Plus Billion of Us”, “Economic Growth: A Cancer on all Earthly Life”, “On the Precipice of Political Disaster in 2024” and “Democracy at Red State Risk”.

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