President Biden seemed to have forgotten to acknowledge the 77th anniversary of D-Day on Sunday, the date of the invasion, angering many service members and veterans for the lack of tribute, especially from one who normally ends his speeches with “God bless the troops.”
Biden did not mark any reference of the anniversary of the Normandy landings on either his personal Twitter account or his official @POTUS account Sunday. D-Day, on June 6, 1944, marks a day in World War II in which Allied forces invaded northern France by means of beach landings in Normandy. The largest seaborne invasion in history saw roughly 4,500 Allied deaths, with 2,500 of those being American.
However, Biden did use his Twitter finger on Sunday to highlight his remarks from Tulsa, Oklahoma; he made earlier last week to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa massacre.
On his personal Twitter account, Biden tweeted, “In the competition for the 21st century, the future will be built right here in America.”
As to the White House, the communication team never released a statement or any sort of type of proclamation referencing D-Day or marking the 77th anniversary.
The day is typically honored by the American president. But both Vice President and First Lady did pay tribute on Twitter to the brave soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy to help liberate France from the Nazis on June 6, 1944.
“On the 77th anniversary of #DDay, we honor the heroes who stormed the beaches of Normandy and liberated a continent. We will never forget their courage and sacrifice,” Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted Sunday before heading to Guatemala for her first international trip.
“77 years ago, families gathered around radios and heard FDR pray for a ‘peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.’ Let us never forget those who fought, their families, or sacrifices, and let us always pray for peace. #DDay,” First Lady Jill Biden wrote on Twitter.
While Biden apparently forgetfulness gaffe failed to show any lack of tribute Sunday, he did, however, honor the fallen service members that died on D-Day during his Memorial Day remarks last week.
“War and conflict, death and loss are not relics of our American history; they’re a part of Americans’ story. Here in Arlington lie heroes who gave what President Lincoln called ‘the last full measure of devotion,'” Biden said on Memorial Day remarks last Monday. “They did not only die at Gettysburg or in Flanders Field or on the beaches of Normandy but in the mountains of Afghanistan, the deserts of Iraq in the last 20 years.”
The lack of a tribute in acknowledging the 77th Anniversary of D-Day from the president, who is known for ending his remarks with the quote “God bless our troops,” outraged veterans, especially those who now serve in Congress.
“I’m FURIOUS that Biden couldn’t be bothered to say ANYTHING to recognize the bravery of those who fought at Normandy 77 years ago,” Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) tweeted. “His ‘Hate America Agenda’ is so strong, he wants us to FORGET about our war heroes. WE WILL NEVER FORGET THEIR BRAVERY!”
“I was disappointed to see that yesterday President Biden failed to honor the memory of the heroes who fought for our freedoms on D-Day,” Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) tweeted. “These American heroes deserve much better.”
An Afghanistan and Iraq war vet called it “reprehensible” for Biden to acknowledge the 1921 Tusla Massacre yesterday, but not about the anniversary of the Normandy landings “clearly underscores the administration’s priorities.”
“As a veteran, I find it reprehensible that the president ends his speeches with ‘God bless the troops,’ which now seems to be in words only. He blatantly forgot to acknowledge the tremendous sacrifice of our greatest generation,” the war veteran told Fox News.
During the White House press briefing Monday, which saw a room packed with of maskless reporters, the first time press briefing room returned to its full capacity since the coronavirus upend normality, White House press secretary Jen Psaki dismissed a question about Biden’s support for veterans when asked about the snub, saying the president has spoken about the invasion over “many times in the past.”
“I can tell you that certainly the – his value for the role that the men who served on D-Day and the memory of them, the families who have kept their memory alive over the course of years on this day is something the president has spoke to many, many times in the past. It’s close to his heart, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s more we would have to say on it,” Psaki told Fox News, Peter Doocy, Monday.
All of Biden’s predecessors — Former Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump all acknowledged the anniversary of D-Day in some capacity in their first year in office. Bush commemorated D-Day’s 57th anniversary in a speech in Bedford City, Virginia, back in 2001. Obama traveled to Normandy, France, for the 65th anniversary in 2009, while Trump also traveled to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019.
Meanwhile, the D-Day spirit lives on during the anniversary ceremony in the small French town saw only one veteran — Charles Shay in attendance. Travel restrictions due to the pandemic prevented other vets and families who died in the battle from making the trip.
“We have no visitors coming to France … for two years now,” Shay told The Associated Press. “And I hope it will be over soon.”