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Trump Honors D-Day Sacrifices, With Some Legacies Unspoken

In giving words to the long-ago fury of D-Day, Mr. Trump followed in the footsteps of predecessors who marked this occasion with some of the most memorable addresses of their presidencies. In 1984, on the 40th anniversary, President Ronald Reagan gestured to veterans of the invasion, who were arrayed before him.

“These are the boys of Point du Hoc,” Mr. Reagan said. ‘‘These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.”

In 1994, on the 50th anniversary, a baby boomer president, Bill Clinton, gestured to the sons and daughters of the veterans in attendance, and said, “Here are the faces for whom you risked your lives. Here are the generations for whom you won a war. We are the children of your sacrifice.”

In 2014, President Barack Obama commemorated the 70th anniversary by singling out the dwindling number of veterans still on hand. “Let us recognize your service once more,” he said. “These men waged war so we might know peace. They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we’d no longer need to fight.”

Mr. Trump did not match the oratorical heights of Mr. Reagan, whose speech was recognized as one of his finest. In its graphic depiction of the horror on the beaches, Mr. Trump’s speech evoked the ominous tone of his Inaugural Address. And when he declared, “Today, America is stronger than ever before,” it was the kind of dependable applause line that could have been taken from one of his rallies.

Mr. Trump also brought domestic politics and personal feuds into the remembrance. Before he took the dais on the hallowed ground of the cemetery, with the white grave markers visible behind him, the president gave an interview to Fox News in which he called Robert S. Mueller III, who investigated his campaign’s ties to Russia, a “fool,” and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a “disaster.”

Source: NYT > World

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