Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks to Members of the Delegation to the D-Day Ceremonies.

June 03, 1964

Ladies and gentlemen:

I have a letter here that I am going to present to General Bradley and ask him to take it with him and to read at the ceremonies.

You are leaving tomorrow to cross in peace an ocean hundreds of thousands of Americans have twice crossed before in war. For each of you this must be a mission of remembrance. For your country it is a mission of resolve. You remember, and will never forget, the 6th of June in 1944 when America's sons and those of our gallant allies helped carry freedom back to the continent where it was cradled.

Your country remembers and will never forget, the resolve born on that D-Day, that, so long as we are able, and other men are willing to stand together, we shall not permit the light of freedom to be extinguished on any continent again.

In these last 20 years, we and the world have lived between the darkness of midnight for civilization and the brightness of a new dawn, for the rays of that dawn are piercing through the shadows. For if the world is not so safe as we would like it some day to be, we can believe it is not so dangerous as we once feared it must always be.

The beachheads of Normandy have been opened into beachheads of hope for us all-hope for a world without tyranny, without war, without aggression, without oppression.

In this, the central force for progress has been, and continues to be, the unity and the strength of all nations of the Atlantic Alliance. Out of our alliance in adversity has grown a great partnership for peace and prosperity. On the success of that partnership rests the hopes of men everywhere.

We of America believe their hopes will not be disappointed--because the success of that partnership will not be frustrated. Men and nations which have united among themselves in grave moments of war must not divide among themselves in hopeful hours of peace.

So let all the world know that when this Nation has stood 2,000 years we shall not have forgotten the lands where our sons lie buried, nor the cause for which our sons died. Where we have commitments to the cause of freedom, we shall honor them-today, tomorrow, and always.

Freedom is not the cause of America alone, however, nor the hope of Western man alone. It is the one cause and the one hope which unites in spirit all men around the globe, whatever their country or their color or their creed. After these last 20 years we can believe that freedom is the tide of history-and we of the West stand astride that wave, confident of what lies ahead.

On this anniversary, the memory of yesterday's battles in war only move us all to fight more valiantly today's battles for tomorrow's peace.

I hope your journey will be a pleasant one. I know it will bring back many memories. I look forward to seeing you upon your return.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke late in the afternoon in the Rose Garden at the White House.

On May 23 the President announced that in response to an invitation to the United States Government from the Government of France he had appointed an official delegation to attend the ceremonies which would be held in France June 5, 6, and 7 commemorating the D-Day landings in Normandy 20 years before. Also announced were the names of the 22 members of the delegation, headed by General of the Army Omar N. Bradley who served as personal representative of the President.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks to Members of the Delegation to the D-Day Ceremonies. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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