US President Donald Trump said Thursday that the bond between America and its allies “forged in the heat of battle” of World War II was “unbreakable” as he spoke at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in northern France.
“To all of our friends and partners, our cherished alliance was forged in the heat of battle, tested in the trials of war and proven in the blessings of peace. Our bond is unbreakable,” Trump said.
He spoke at a US cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer in front of a beach codenamed Omaha during the landings which saw 150,000 Allied troops rush ashore in the world’s biggest naval operation to liberate much of western Europe.
“Those who fought here won a future for our nation, they won the survival of our civilization and they showed us the way to love, cherish and defend our way of life for many centuries to come,” Trump said.
He concluded: “May God bless our great veterans, may God bless our allies, may God bless the heroes of D-Day and may God bless America.”
Trump has caused the biggest crisis since World War II in the transatlantic alliance after criticizing the NATO military alliance and openly criticizing European leaders, including his host on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron.
The US leader began with a tribute to around 60 US veterans who were in the front row, many of them in wheelchairs.
“You are among the very greatest Americans who will ever live. You are the pride of our nation. You are the glory of our republic and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” he said.