Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen paid tribute to the D-Day veterans during a ceremony at the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va.
“The significance, the cost, and, most of all, the sheer bravery of Americans and allies who pushed forward on June 6th taught us what we were of, and what we have to keep striving for,” he said.
With about 50 veterans from the Army, Navy, and Air Force present at the ceremony, Mullen recalled June 6, 1944 as one of the most historic events in American history. He honored the bravery and commitment of the fallen service members who fought on the beaches of Normandy 66 years ago.
“There was no retreat for any man on D-Day,” Mullen said. “Each just had to push on.”
Mullen tied the experiences of the 29th Infantry Division soldiers to the current service members who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and requested the brave veterans reach out and make a connection to their battles. He said, “In this job, I’ve found that it has grown over time in the importance of the connection between generations that fought for the country and the commonality of experience, the ability to support and the extent of the sacrifice.”
Mullen addressed the importance of such ceremonies that remember the sacrifices of fallen and missing soldiers. The event that took place at the D-Day Memorial bore witness to the veterans’ experiences and reminded the community to continue striving for the same ideals.