Biden warns of perils of isolationism at event commemorating 80th anniversary of D-Day - TAI News
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President Joe Biden delivers a speech on the legacy of Pointe du Hoc, and democracy around the world, Friday, June 7, 2024 as he stands next to the Pointe du Hoc monument in Normandy, France. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden traveled to events commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France, delivering a speech in which he warned that Europe could again be at risk of falling into authoritarian hands if the United States and its allies allowed Russia to take over Ukraine.

At an event at the Normandy American Cemetery, attended by surviving veterans of the Allied invasion on June 6, 1944, a major turning point in the fight to defeat Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany in World War II, Biden said that the U.S., NATO and their coalition partners must now defeat another tyrant.

“Isolationism was not the answer 80 years ago and is not the answer today,” Biden said, turning to Russia’s war in Ukraine. “We know the dark forces that these heroes fought against 80 years ago; they never fade. Aggression and greed, the desire to dominate and control, to change borders by force, these are perennial. The struggle between a dictatorship and freedom is unending. Here in Europe, we see one stark example: Ukraine has been invaded by a tyrant bent on domination. Ukrainians are fighting with extraordinary courage, suffering great losses, but never backing down.”

Biden vowed that the U.S. would stand with Ukraine and added: “To surrender to bullies, to bow down to dictators, it is simply unthinkable. … Make no mistake, we will not bow down.”

Biden had greeted D-Day veterans who were at the event, and he spoke of the need to remember their heroism: “We’re not far off from the time when the last living voices of those who fought and bled on D-Day will no longer be with us. So we have a special obligation. We cannot allow what happened here be lost in the silence of the years to come,” Biden said. “We must remember it, must honor it and live it. We must remember. The fact that they were heroes here that day does not absolve us from what we have to do today.”

Biden’s visit with D-Day veterans in Normandy is in stark contrast to former President Donald Trump’s trip to France in 2018 for events marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. It was reported later that sources close to Trump had said he hadn’t wanted to attend services at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery northeast of Paris because it was raining and he did not want to get his hair wet. The sources claimed that Trump had said: “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” Trump denied the reports and said the Secret Service had told him not to go to the ceremony.

If the reports were true, it wasn’t the first time Trump had denigrated members of the military.

In 2015 Trump attacked the late Sen. John McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, saying: “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

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