Friday, June 14, 2024

World leaders warned about the future of democracy during D-Day commemorations

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US President Joe Biden on the podium in Colleville-sur-Mer. Photo: Daniel Cole / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 06.06.2024 16:33:01

Policy: – We live in a time where democracy is in greater danger worldwide than it has been at any time since the end of the Second World War, said Biden in the French village of Colleville-sur-Mer.

The village is only a few hundred meters away from where American soldiers landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. Over 150,000 Allied soldiers landed in Normandy to begin the liberation of Nazi-occupied Europe.

It is not known how many of them are still alive today. But the 180 veterans who had made it to Normandy were the guests of honor above all, despite the fact that a number of world leaders were also present. Several of them received France’s highest honour, the Legion of Honour, from French President Emmanuel Macron. The veterans are now in their 90s and even over 100, and several of them struggled to get up from their wheelchairs.

He also remembered the French civilians who were killed during the period, which the king did in French.

– They released everything they had in their hands and risked everything for our independence and freedom. We will not forget that, Macron said.

– Isolationism was not the answer 80 years ago, and it is not the answer today either. What the allies did together was far greater than what we could do individually, said the US president.

The US president also said that the US was not going to leave Ukraine in the lurch.

– If we do that, Ukraine will be oppressed and it will not stop there. The whole of Europe is being threatened, he said.

– This event and this day serve as a reminder of the courage and determination shown in the pursuit of freedom and democracy. The Allies defended Europe’s freedom then, as the Ukrainians do now. Unity overcame everything then, and true unity can do the same today, Zelenskyy wrote on X.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated “our way of life did not come about by accident, and it will not continue without our efforts”.

– The day marked the beginning of the end for the inhumane National Socialist system, its racial mania and militarism, its will to destroy and imperialist fantasies, said German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz.

– It is with the greatest sense of gratitude that we remember them and everyone else who made an effort in those critical days, said Britain’s King Charles in his memorial speech.

A number of leaders drew historical lines in their speeches, comparing the struggle against tyranny and dictatorship at the time with today’s situation.

Such words probably pleased Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, who was also present.

(© NTB)

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