President Donald Trump delivered a moving address during the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day in Normandy, France, on Thursday.
The president took the stage shortly after French President Emmanuel Macron and addressed the crowd, which included 60 American veterans who were present on D-Day when the American forces stormed the beaches of Normandy. (RELATED: Trump Reads FDR’s Prayer At 75th D-Day Anniversary Event)
“You are the pride of our nation, you are the glory of the republic, and we thank you from the bottom of our heart,” Trump said to applause.
The president honored the troops from other countries before asserting, “And finally, there were the Americans.”
“They came from the farms of a vast heartland, the streets of glowing cities and the forges of mighty industrial towns. Before the war, many had never ventured beyond their own community. Now, they had come to offer their lives halfway across the world,” he said.
The president declared that the soldiers who came to Normandy that day “knew that they were carrying on their shoulders not just the pack of a soldier, the but the fate of the world.”
Trump took time to honor several of the American veterans present by name, including former Army medic Arnold Raymond “Ray” Lambert, who is now 98 years old.
Lambert was one of just six men who survived from his landing craft, was shot in the arm, had his leg ripped open by shrapnel, and suffered a broken back, but he continued to attempt to save others on the beach and in the water for hours.
“Ray, the free world salutes you,” Trump said as the crowd gave Lambert a standing ovation.
The president paused his speech at that point to walk over to Lambert and shake his hand. Lambert responded by tipping his “D-Day veteran” hat to the president, according to the White House print pool.
The crowd continued to cheer for Lambert, and the president solemnly said, “Thank you, Ray.”