Politics

Johnson Visits Normandy on 75th Anniversary of D-Day

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson visited Normandy and Omaha Beach today with President Donald  Trump and other U.S. officials. 

Johnson served in the U.S. Air Force from 1973 to 1999 and served as a director of the Air Force chief information officer’s staff at U.S. Special Operations command, Johnson said in a statement it was impossible to describe the scene and range of emotions he experienced.

“There are reminders everywhere here that clearly illustrate that the many freedoms and privileges we enjoy didn’t come for free,” he said. “They came at a great cost and sacrifice by our fallen heroes and their families. 

“Over the last 241 years, Americans have protected the freedoms and liberties across the globe by paying the ultimate sacrifice – but nowhere is it more evident than along the coasts of France,” Johnson said. 

“Looking at the sea and the cliffs, it is unfathomable to comprehend what was accomplished,” he continued. “It was…but, the cost in human life was terribly high – over 9,000 Americans are buried here.”

The Battle of Normandy, also known as D-Day, took place in 1944 when Allied Forces invaded northern France on the beach landings during World War II. The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history, involving 156,000 soldiers and 195,700 naval personnel. Soldiers from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, Czechoslovakia, France, Norway and Poland all took part in the assault.

The landing provided Allied Forces a foothold in Europe, allowing for the capture of Berlin in May 1945. 

Events are taking place in northern France to remember the sea-born invasion. Following his state visit to the United Kingdom earlier in the week, President Trump spoke to veterans of D-Day Thursday at Normandy. The day before, veterans who were part of the paratrooper force that landed inland the night before the beach landings recreated their jumps.

Pictured: American soldiers of Company E, 16th Infantry Division (the Big Red One) disembarking the USS Samuel Chase onto the Fox Green section of Omaha Beach, June 6, 1944. Upon landing, 2/3 of Company E became casualties when encountering the German 352nd Division. Photo by Chief Photographer’s Mate Robert F. Sargent.

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.