June 06, 2009
Barack Hussein Obama D-Day Speech
Obama's remarks at the D-Day 65th anniversary ceremony, as prepared for delivery.
President Obama's prepared remarks on the 65th Anniversary of D-Day:
Good afternoon. Thank you President Sarkozy, Prime Minister Brown, Prime Minister Harper, and Prince Charles for being here today. Thank you to our Secretary of Veterans Affairs, General Eric Shinseki for making the trip out here to join us. Thanks also to Susan Eisenhower, whose grandfather began this mission sixty-five years ago with a simple charge: "Ok, let's go." And to a World War II veteran who returned home from this war to serve a proud and distinguished career as a United States Senator and national leader: Bob Dole.
I am not the first American president to come and mark this anniversary, and I likely will not be the last. It is an event that has long brought to this coast both heads of state and grateful citizens; veterans and their loved ones; the liberated and their liberators. It has been written about and spoken of and depicted in countless books and films and speeches. And long after our time on this Earth has passed, one word will still bring forth the pride and awe of men and women who will never meet the heroes who sit before us: D-Day.
Why is this? Of all the battles in all the wars across the span of human history, why does this day hold such a revered place in our memory? What is it about the struggle that took place on these sands behind me that brings us back here to remember year after year after year?
Part of it, I think, is the size of the odds that weighed against success. For three centuries, no invader had ever been able to cross the English Channel into Normandy. And it had never been more difficult than in 1944.
That was the year that Hitler ordered his top field marshal to fortify the Atlantic Wall against a seaborne invasion. From the tip of Norway to southern France, the Nazis lined steep cliffs with machine guns and artillery. Low-lying areas were flooded to block passage. Sharpened poles awaited paratroopers. Mines were laid on the beaches and beneath the water. And by the time of the invasion, half a million Germans waited for the Allies along the coast between Holland and Northern France.
At dawn on June 6th, the Allies came. The best chance for victory had been for the British Royal Air Corps to take out the guns on the cliffs while airborne divisions parachuted behind enemy lines. But all did not go according to plan. Paratroopers landed miles from their mark, while the fog and the clouds prevented Allied planes from destroying the guns on the cliffs. So when the ships landed here at Omaha, an unimaginable hell rained down on the men inside. Many never made it out of the boats.
And yet, despite all of this, one by one, the Allied forces made their way to shore - here, and at Utah and Juno; Gold and Sword. They were American, British, and Canadian. Soon, the paratroopers found each other and fought their way back. The Rangers scaled the cliffs. And by the end of the day, against all odds, the ground on which we stand was free once more.
The sheer improbability of this victory is part of what makes D-Day so memorable. It also arises from the clarity of purpose with which this war was waged.
We live in a world of competing beliefs and claims about what is true. It is a world of varied religions and cultures and forms of government. In such a world, it is rare for a struggle to emerge that speaks to something universal about humanity.
The Second World War did that. No man who shed blood or lost a brother would say that war is good. But all know that this war was essential. For what we faced in Nazi totalitarianism was not just a battle of competing interests. It was a competing vision of humanity. Nazi ideology sought to subjugate, humiliate, and exterminate. It perpetrated murder on a massive scale, fueled by a hatred of those who were deemed different and therefore inferior. It was evil.
The nations and leaders that joined together to defeat Hitler's Reich were not perfect. We had made our share of mistakes, and had not always agreed with one another on every issue. But whatever God we prayed to, whatever our differences, we knew that the evil we faced had to be stopped. Citizens of all faiths and no faith came to believe that we could not remain as bystanders to the savage perpetration of death and destruction. And so we joined and sent our sons to fight and often die so that men and women they never met might know what it is to be free.
In America, it was an endeavor that inspired a nation to action. A President who asked his country to pray on D-Day also asked its citizens to serve and sacrifice to make the invasion possible. On farms and in factories, millions of men and women worked three shifts a day, month after month, year after year. Trucks and tanks came from plants in Michigan and Indiana; New York and Illinois. Bombers and fighter planes rolled off assembly lines in Ohio and Kansas, where my grandmother did her part as an inspector. Shipyards on both coasts produced the largest fleet in history, including the landing craft from New Orleans that eventually made it here to Omaha.
But despite all the years of planning and preparation; despite the inspiration of our leaders, the skill of our generals, the strength of our firepower and the unyielding support from our home front, the outcome of the entire struggle would ultimately rest on the success of one day in June.
Lyndon Johnson once said that there are certain moments when ".history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom."
D-Day was such a moment. One newspaper noted that "we have come to the hour for which we were born." Had the Allies failed here, Hitler's occupation of this continent might have continued indefinitely. Instead, victory here secured a foothold in France. It opened a path to Berlin. And it made possible the achievements that followed the liberation of Europe: the Marshall Plan, the NATO alliance, and the shared prosperity and security that flowed from each.
It was unknowable then, but so much of the progress that would define the twentieth century, on both sides of the Atlantic, came down to the battle for a slice of beach only six miles long and two miles wide.
More particularly, it came down to the men who landed here - those who now rest in this place for eternity, and those who are with us today. Perhaps more than any other reason, you, the veterans of that landing, are why we still remember what happened on D-Day. You are why we come back.
For you remind us that in the end, human destiny is not determined by forces beyond our control. You remind us that our future is not shaped by mere chance or circumstance. Our history has always been the sum total of the choices made and the actions taken by each individual man or woman. It has always been up to us.
You could have done what Hitler believed you would do when you arrived here. In the face of a merciless assault from these cliffs, you could have idled the boats offshore. Amid a barrage of tracer bullets that lit the night sky, you could have stayed in those planes. You could have hid in the hedgerows or waited behind the sea wall. You could have done only what was necessary to ensure your own survival.
But that's not what you did. That's not the story you told on D-Day. Your story was written by men like Zane Schlemmer [SHLEM er] of the 82nd Airborne, who parachuted into a dark marsh, far from his objective and his men. Lost and alone, he still managed to fight his way through the gunfire and help liberate the town in which he landed - a town where a street now bears his name.
It's a story written by men like Anthony Ruggiero [Ru gee AIR o], an Army Ranger who saw half the men on his landing craft drown when it was hit by shellfire just a thousand yards off this beach. He spent three hours in freezing water, and was one of only 90 Rangers to survive out of the 225 who were sent to scale the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc [Pwante-doo-ock]
And it's a story written by so many who are no longer with us, like Carlton Barrett. Private Barrett was only supposed to serve as a guide for the 1st Infantry Division, but he instead became one of its heroes. After wading ashore in neck-deep water, he returned to the water again and again to save his wounded and drowning comrades. And under the heaviest possible enemy fire, he actually carried them to safety. He carried them in his own arms.
This is the story of the Allied victory. It is the legend of units like Easy Company and the All-American 82nd. It is the tale of the British people, whose courage during the Blitz forced Hitler to call off the invasion of England; the Canadians, who came even though they were never attacked; strongthe Russians, who sustained some of the war's heaviest casualties on the Eastern front; and all those French men and women who would rather have died resisting tyranny than lived within its grasp.
It is the memories that have been passed on to so many of us about the service or sacrifice of a friend or relative. For me, it is my grandfather, Stanley Dunham, who arrived on this beach six weeks after D-Day and marched across Europe in Patton's Army. And it is my great uncle who was part of the first American division to reach and liberate a Nazi concentration camp. His name is Charles Payne, and I am so proud that he is here with us today.
I know this trip doesn't get any easier as the years pass, but for those of you who make it, there's nothing that could keep you away. One such veteran, a man named Jim Norene [Nor EEN], was a member of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne. Last night, after visiting this cemetery for one last time, he passed away in his sleep. Jim was gravely ill when he left his home, and he knew that he might not return. But just as he did sixty-five years ago, he came anyway. May he now rest in peace with the boys he once bled with, and may his family always find solace in the heroism he showed here.
In the end, Jim Norene came back to Normandy for the same reason we all come back. He came for the reason articulated by Howard Huebner [HUBE ner], another former paratrooper who's here with us today. When asked why he made the trip, Howard said, "It's important that we tell our stories. It doesn't have to be something big.just a little story about what happened - so people don't forget."
So people don't forget.
Friends and veterans, what we cannot forget - what we must not forget - is that D-Day was a time and a place where the bravery and selflessness of a few was able to change the course of an entire century. At an hour of maximum danger, amid the bleakest of circumstances, men who thought themselves ordinary found it within themselves to do the extraordinary. They fought for their moms and sweethearts back home, for the fellow warriors they came to know as brothers. And they fought out of a simple sense of duty - a duty sustained by the same ideals for which their countrymen had fought and bled for over two centuries.
That is the story of Normandy - but also the story of America. Of the minutemen who gathered on a green in Lexington; of the Union boys from Maine who repelled a charge at Gettysburg; of the men who gave their last full measure at Inchon and Khe San; of all the young men and women whose valor and goodness still carry forward this legacy of service and sacrifice. It is a story that has never come easy, but one that always gives us hope. For as we face down the hardships and struggles of our time, and arrive at that hour for which we were born, we cannot help but draw strength from those moments in history when the best among us were somehow able to swallow their fears and secure a beachhead on an unforgiving shore. To those men who achieved that victory sixty-five years ago, I thank you for your service. May God Bless you, and may God Bless the memory of all those who rest here.
Wild Thing's comment.........
First I have to point this out, OMG, this is so embarassing. Obama was the ONLY speaker that used a teleprompter!!!!!
He couldn't speak from his heart if his life depended on it. OH wait he would have to have a heart first.
Obama stands against all the principles of freedom, and his presence on such hallowed ground is a sacrilege!
Obama is void of emotion. To me, he sounded like an ANGRY black man talking down to the crowd. It’s almost like every speech he has, he’s just dying to say, o’h I would done that better and I would have done this better and blah blah blah
Sarkozy’s speech was fabulous!
"I am not the first American president to come and mark this anniversary, and I likely will not be the last."
Obama says he “likely” won’t be the last POTUS to honor the D-Day commemoration. I know we have all said he might very well change the laws so he can stay president, but OMG.
"We live in a world of competing beliefs and claims about what is true. It is a world of varied religions and cultures and forms of government. In such a world, it is rare for a struggle to emerge that speaks to something universal about humanity.
The Second World War did that. No man who shed blood or lost a brother would say that war is good. But all know that this war was essential. For what we faced in Nazi totalitarianism was not just a battle of competing interests. It was a competing vision of humanity. Nazi ideology sought to subjugate, humiliate, and exterminate. It perpetrated murder on a massive scale, fueled by a hatred of those who were deemed different and therefore inferior. It was evil."
In summary, to Obama the Nazis were evil because they were intolerant of others. The why doesn't Obama challenge the intolerant of today: the MUSLIMS ! But Nazis were not bad because they were intolerant, but because they were statists. They extolled the state above freedom. Sound like anyone we know?
"The nations and leaders that joined together to defeat Hitler's Reich were not perfect. We had made our share of mistakes, and had not always agreed with one another on every issue. But whatever God we prayed to, whatever our differences, we knew that the evil we faced had to be stopped. Citizens of all faiths and no faith came to believe that we could not remain as bystanders to the savage perpetration of death and destruction."
The obligatory apology. There was, however, no particular reason to bring religion into the discussion. It wasn't a religious war. Obama constantly says let me be clear or make this clea, well then let US also be clear - it was primarily Christians and Jews who fought the Nazis. Not Muslims - they joined with the Nazis. Some Buddhists, but many eastern religions would have been more closely allied with Japan.
So why bring up religion? Because it is another chance for Obama to support the idea what Muslims are just like any other religion. Indeed, it is a chance for ALL religions to be devalued because they apparently are pretty much all the same.
"On farms and in factories, millions of men and women worked three shifts a day, month after month, year after year."
Hint - farms don't work on three 8 hour shifts. Nor is there anything all that heroic about working an 8 hour shift. No, it DOESN'T compare to spending 24 hours/day in mud & cold facing enemy fire. By equating it, Obama devalues those who DID risk their lives.
"Lyndon Johnson once said that there are certain moments when "...history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom."
LBJ was a fake war hero. Don't quote him in front of real heroes.
"You could have done what Hitler believed you would do when you arrived here. In the face of a merciless assault from these cliffs, you could have idled the boats offshore. Amid a barrage of tracer bullets that lit the night sky, you could have stayed in those planes. You could have hid in the hedgerows or waited behind the sea wall. You could have done only what was necessary to ensure your own survival."
Written by someone who hasn't been in combat. The paratroopers were NOT watching the tracers, nor did they really have the option of hiding in the planes forever.
"...the Canadians, who came even though they were never attacked; the Russians, who sustained some of the war's heaviest casualties on the Eastern front;..."
The Canadians had come under attack. Ask the families of those who died at Dunkirk and elsewhere. Canada was part of Great Britain, and it would have been unthinkable in that day to stay out of it. And the Russians? Yes they died, but not at Normandy and they continued to die in huge numbers after the war because Uncle Stalin was every bit as evil as Hitler.
Obama's was the speech of someone who doesn't understand belief in God, freedom, or patriotism.
(also transcript notes taken from mr. rogers comment)
Posted by Wild Thing at June 6, 2009 07:20 PM
Ho-bama has no heart!he only has 2 moving
parts-his mouth & his asshole-boath are inter
Posted by: Chief at June 7, 2009 09:19 AM
Want a real comparison of Obama to a real President?
Run this tape and follow it with President Reagan's Pont du Hoc Speech.
Where we were under that man, and wheere we are under this man are light years apart.
Posted by: SEAN HANAGAN at June 7, 2009 11:01 AM
The Buchenwald concentration camp was liberated on April 11, 1945 by four soldiers in the Sixth
"It is the memories that have been passed on to so many of us about the service or sacrifice of a friend or relative. For me, it is my grandfather, Stanley Dunham, who arrived on this beach six weeks after D-Day and marched across Europe in Patton's Army. And it is my great uncle who was part of the first American division to reach and liberate a Nazi concentration camp. His name is Charles Payne, and I am so proud that he is here with us today."
Armored Division of the US Third Army, commanded by General George S. Patton. Just before the Americans arrived, the camp had already been taken over by the Communist prisoners who had killed some of the guards and forced the rest to flee into the nearby woods.
Pfc. James Hoyt was driving the M8 armoured vehicle which brought Capt. Frederic Keffer, Tech. Sgt. Herbert Gottschalk and Sgt. Harry Ward to the Buchenwald camp that day.
What, no Charles Payne?
Regarding the liberation of Buchenwald on April 11, 1945, Robert Abzug wrote the following in his book "Inside the Vicious Heart":
The Americans were met by reasonably healthy looking, armed prisoners ready to help administer distribution of food, clothing, and medical care. These same prisoners, an International Committee with the Communist underground leader Hans Eiden at its head, seemed to have perfect control over their fellow inmates.
Hmmm, it appears that Buchenwald had already been liberated by the prisoners when the Americans arrived.
In no way do I mean to diminish what our brave troops had done by my above remarks.
Posted by: Bob A at June 7, 2009 11:16 AM
Obama is a typical socialist/Marxist. Rewrite history to fit the need of the moment. Change the facts to fit your story.
All of a sudden he acknowleges his White family. And still doesn't get it right. I wonder how many true veterans were displaced from visiting Normandy by Obama's security.
Long winded, read from teleprompters, erroneous facts, apologies for the actions of the good guys, included oblique reference to people who weren't there. A typical Obama bullshit oratory. I'm sure the other dignitaries there were wondering what has happened to America.
What a shame about Jim Norene. At least he passed away in a memorable place and is now back in the company of his warrior buddies. AIRBORNE! Jim.
Posted by: TomR at June 7, 2009 01:38 PM
Chief, LOL I LOVE your description.
Posted by: Wild Thing at June 7, 2009 06:24 PM
Sean, oh yessss it is such a huge
difference, one that actually is
shocking. I can't get over that
Obama is in power at all. He is more
of an enemy to our country then any
terrorist or anyone else.
Posted by: Wild Thing at June 7, 2009 06:27 PM
Bob A., thank you so much for othe link and
information I really appreciate it.
Posted by: Wild Thing at June 7, 2009 06:33 PM
Tom, yes he sure is long winded.
Your take on the whole thing is
perfect, thank you Tom.
Posted by: Wild Thing at June 7, 2009 06:35 PM
Perhaps if Obazo didn't use the teleprompter he'd be talking gibberish. Maybe he's like the 6 million dollar man only bama don't have a brain just volatile memory and can only recite, words fed to him by Soros. Turn him off and everything is erased.
Tha man is a useless pice of shit.
Posted by: Mark at June 7, 2009 09:38 PM
Thank you Mark. Not many could have said it better. Certainly not I. Is gibberish like in gibbs? Just asking.
Posted by: Bob A at June 7, 2009 09:45 PM