President Trump planned to join other world leaders in Europe on Thursday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, a monumental event that was largely responsible for shaping the outcome of World War II.
The ceremony was to take place on the edge of Omaha Beach in Normandy where thousands of American and Allied soldiers lost their lives.
Trump, continuing the tradition of his predecessors, will stand alongside leaders from Britain, Canada, France, and even Germany to pay homage to the troops who stormed the fortified Normandy to help turn the tide of the war.
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In a Twitter message early Thursday, the president seemed to be looking forward to the day’s events.
“Heading over to Normandy to celebrate some of the bravest that ever lived. We are eternally grateful!” the president wrote.
The message included a retweet of a Defense Department message that included the remembrances of some veterans who participated in the D-Day invasion.
Earlier, the president tweeted an excerpt from his D-Day remarks.
“They did not know if they would survive the hour,” the president wrote. “They did not know if they would grow old. But they knew that America had to prevail. Their cause was this Nation, and generations yet unborn.”
Remembrances will continue to take place throughout the day. Trump will deliver a speech later Thursday at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, where more than 9,000 American military dead are buried.
On Wednesday, Trump joined British Prime Minister Theresa May and about 300 veterans – ages 91 to 101 – on the southern coast of England where he read a prayer delivered by President Franklin Roosevelt on D-Day.
D-Day was the largest invasion – by both air and sea – in history. On June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops carried by 7,000 boats landed on the beaches code-named Omaha, Utah, Juno, Sword, and Gold.
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When the day was over, 4,414 Allied troops – including 2,501 Americans – were killed, and 5,000 were injured. That summer, Allied troops would advance their fight, take Paris, and race against the Soviets to control as much German territory as possible by the time Hitler committed suicide in a Berlin Bunker in May 1945.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.