Nearly seventy years after US troops stormed the beaches of Normandy to liberate France from Nazi Germany, thousands of visitors paid tribute to their courage and sacrifice in a series of French-hosted commemoration ceremonies. The ceremonies likely marked the last time America’s World War II veterans will make the long journey back to Normandy seeing as the youngest D-Day survivors are now entering their 90s. “You don’t know what it’s like until you watch these little kids and their parents, and their grandparents waving American flags, waving French flags, waving [British] flags, all the nations represented,” said Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander and leader of US European Command. He said the emotions still felt by French citizens shows how much “the sacrifices that our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines made for this country” really meant. He called Gen. Dwight Eisenhower’s decision to carry out the D-Day invasion “the greatest endeavor ever undertaken in the name of liberty,” according to a June 5 Pentagon release. President Barack Obama is expected to remember the 70th anniversary alongside Queen Elizabeth II and Russian President Vladimir Putin on landing beaches of Normandy on Friday. (Pentagon D-Day special.)
Adm. Christopher Grady, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs and head of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, is pushing a “portfolio” approach to requirements and wants his position to have “more teeth” so he can enforce it.