HomeNewsArticle Display

Breedlove pays tribute to sacrifices made at D-Day

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division, along with allied troops from multiple countries, participate in a parade June 4, 2014, through the streets of Carentan, France. The town is hosting several events commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day operations conducted during World War II. (U.S. Army photo/Sgt. A.M. LaVey)

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division, along with allied troops from multiple countries, participate in a parade June 4, 2014, through the streets of Carentan, France. The town is hosting several events commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day operations conducted during World War II. (U.S. Army photo/Sgt. A.M. LaVey)

CARENTAN, France (AFNS) -- The sacrifice made by World War II veterans is reflected in the legacy of freedom they left following their success in the “greatest endeavor ever undertaken in the name of liberty,” NATO’S Supreme Allied Commander Europe said.Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, also commander of U.S. European Command, traveled here to participate in a series of French-hosted commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the June 6, 1944, D-Day invasion of Normandy during World War II. Breedlove saluted the veterans for their courage in liberating Europe.

 
“The French said ‘thank you’ today as they gave [veterans] the [French] Legion of Honor,” Breedlove told American Forces Network yesterday.

“Well, you just can’t buy this,” he said, referring to French gratitude for what the allies did by liberating France and Europe as part of the 70th anniversary of D-Day. “You can’t put it in a bottle. To see the nations -- all of them -- represented around this town, this country, this host nation, coming out like this in the hundreds and thousands to thank our soldiers and thank our veterans -- it’s amazing. It’s a great feeling.”

Breedlove added, “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.”

The French citizens’ emotions illustrate “what it means to these people [regarding] the sacrifices that our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines made for this country,” he added.

Breedlove reflected on the hard choices Army Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower -- the D-Day invasion commander -- had to make in order to carry out the operation.

“Can you imagine what he was thinking as he sent so many of our nation’s sons ashore knowing what was waiting for them?” Eisenhower knew what was going to be required to achieve success, Breedlove said, and he knew the sacrifice that would have to be made.

“It’s probably the most incredible decision of our military,” the general said. “And he stood up to it and sent these forces ashore, and they accomplished their mission.”

Breedlove said he learned, from talking to veterans, that none of them made the decision to fight based on what was in front of them.

“They made decisions about standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their fellow soldiers, sailors and airmen. “Shoulder-to-shoulder with those who cared. And their mission was to get the job done and take care of each other.”

It was the cohesion, camaraderie and esprit de corps, Breedlove said, that got them through some pretty tough times.

“They all gave so much. But what we owe all veterans is our freedom.”

Speaking about freedom as the legacy of those who fought in World War II, Breedlove referred to a speech from a young French woman during an earlier ceremony where veterans received the French Legion of Honor.

“She wrote about that freedom that was purchased by the bravery and the sacrifice of our soldiers,” he said. “So all we can do is just say, ‘We thank you and we’re lucky that you were there to stand for us.’”

Walking down Carentan’s streets, the general also lauded veterans serving in today’s formations, and the families who support them.

“I say thank you to the families,” Breedlove said, “and to those veterans who are marching right in front of them who also served in multiple wars and multiple places around the world.

“We have lots of veterans that we owe dearly,” he continued. “Thank you to all of them.”

Engage

Twitter
That's a lot of mileage. A KC-46 Pegasus refuels a C-17 Globemaster III over the Atlantic Ocean. The C-17 fleet hi… https://t.co/nPE3zqGW0g
Twitter
How do you balance protecting wildlife while also reducing the risk to Airmen? @JBLEnews partnered with @USDA and… https://t.co/XrrUTwGGZC
Twitter
Give @GenCQBrownJr a follow for the latest on how he's leading the charge to accelerate change throughout the… https://t.co/FjImSy8fw9
Twitter
RT @LloydAustin: To everyone on the force: I'm proud to be back on the team. https://t.co/3qyvmGMsu1
Twitter
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Airmen conduct first-ever refueling mission with Qatari Emiri Air Force This event bu… https://t.co/Pd7kzFXZqc
Twitter
With more than 69,000 sorties flown by 30 different types of aircraft, Operation Desert Storm marked the most rapid… https://t.co/2WXlQcSipC
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Congratulations, 2Lt Gerlica! #FlyFightWin https://t.co/gDrMYmTlAN
Twitter
Aggressive acceleration. An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 57th Wing takes off @NellisAFB. The wing’s missio… https://t.co/HG9t6c8pza
Twitter
RT @PANationalGuard: A KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 171st Air Refueling Wing sits on the flight line during the first snowfall of th…
Twitter
Falcons get thirsty too A U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender conducts aerial refueling with an F-16 Fighting Falcon in… https://t.co/QUsB3DDSrh
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: I’d say it’s long overdue... https://t.co/26nLAeVSjS Not all women have the same type of hair, and these standards nee…
Twitter
#AirForce women will now be allowed longer braids, ponytails and bangs while in uniform. These new changes will be… https://t.co/AFp18NftZJ
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: Ever wonder what it’s like to be a weapons #Airman? @AvianoAB’s 31st Maintenance Group invited Airmen from other career fi…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: "I’m eager to continue the momentum Secretary Barrett and these two great military leaders put into motion as we work to…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: "I look forward to working side-by-side with General Brown and General Raymond to ensure our #Airmen and #Guardians have…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Statement by Acting SecAF John Roth: "It is a privilege to serve #Airmen & #Guardians as the Acting Secretary of the Air…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,315,150
Follow Us