Donnelly Visits France As Part Of D-Day Commemoration
June 10, 2014 — TheStatehouseFile.com
INDIANAPOLIS – U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly honored veterans and fallen soldiers by walking on the beaches they stormed 70 years ago on Saturday.
The Democrat flew to Caen, France, on June 5. The next day, he traveled to Pointe du Hoc, then to Omaha Beach before stopping for a ceremony involving France and the United States at the Normandy American Cemetery.
There are more than 9,000 Americans buried in the cemetery, including 274 Hoosiers, Donnelly said. Throughout the war, 400,000 Hoosiers fought and 12,000 Americans lost their lives, he said.
“The reason I went on this trip is to bring the gratitude and appreciation of every single Hoosier to the place where the soldiers of all the allied nations fought and saved the world,” Donnelly said. “I wanted to be a visual sign that in Indiana, we will never forget the sacrifice made and to also be on the grounds and pay the respects to the 274 Hoosiers who were never able to come home.”
After the ceremony at Normandy American Cemetery, Donnelly went to Sword Beach – one of the five main landing areas for soldiers during the initial D-Day assault – where he attended an international ceremony.
“I wanted to, again, be at Normandy, be at Sword Beach, be at Omaha Beach, be at Pointe du Hoc, so I could walk in the footsteps of American heroes and bring the thoughts, the prayers, and the appreciation and respect of all Hoosiers back to the place where we able to change the world,” Donnelly said.