Biden Travels to France for State Visit and D-Day Commemoration

Biden Travels to France for State Visit and D-Day Commemoration
President Joe Biden waves as he walks to board Marine One as it departs from Fort McNair in Washington on May 24, 2024. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

PARIS, France—President Joe Biden will travel to France on June 4 to attend the commemorations of the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy.

The president’s five-day trip to France, including a state visit, comes amid his son’s ongoing criminal trial in Delaware and his efforts to seal a peace deal in the Middle East.

President Biden will give a speech on June 6 to commemorate the D-Day landings along the Normandy coast in 1944, which ultimately led to France and Europe’s liberation.

First Lady Jill Biden will accompany President Biden on his visit to France.

On June 7, the president is scheduled to give a speech at Pointe du Hoc, France, emphasizing the significance of “defending freedom and democracy,” according to the White House.

Eighty years ago, on D-Day, Allied forces launched a massive naval, air, and land assault on Nazi-occupied France during World War II. The invasion is famously known as “D-Day,” and according to the U.S. military, the term refers to the first day of a big military operation.

The Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy, codenamed Operation “Overlord,” marked the beginning of a long campaign to defeat Germany. On the morning of D-Day, two naval task forces landed roughly 133,000 ground troops on five beaches: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.

The Western Task Force was in charge of the American beaches at Utah and Omaha.

By June 30, more than 850,000 men, 148,000 vehicles, and 570,000 tons of supplies had arrived on the Normandy beaches. Two months after the D-Day invasion, the Allied forces reached Paris and liberated the French capital from Nazi occupation.

On May 7, 1945, German General Alfred Jodl declared an unconditional surrender in Reims, France.

“Seventy-three thousand brave Americans landed at Utah and Omaha beaches in Normandy on June 6, 1944, and the president will greet American veterans and their family members while in France to honor their sacrifice,” the White House said.

After the ceremonies in Normandy, the president and first lady will remain in Paris for a state visit. It holds a special significance as it will mark the president’s first state visit to France.

“The State Visit will reflect the enduring and comprehensive relationship between the United States and France, our oldest ally, founded on shared democratic values, economic ties, and defense and security cooperation,” the White House said. “President Biden and President Macron will have the opportunity to discuss a wide range of global challenges and bilateral issues.”

The visit comes as the president’s son, Hunter Biden, faces three criminal counts in connection with a gun purchase in 2018.

Based on testimony in his memoir, he was struggling with a crack cocaine addiction at the time. He has been accused of providing false information to the gun dealer, by denying he was a drug user on the firearm application and illegally possessing the gun for 11 days.

After the trial opened on June 3, President Biden released a statement saying he has “boundless love” for his son and “respect for his strength.”

“I am the President, but I am also a Dad. Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today,” the president said.

“Hunter’s resilience in the face of adversity and the strength he has brought to his recovery are inspiring to us. A lot of families have loved ones who have overcome addiction and know what we mean.”

Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The trial comes on the heels of former President Donald Trump’s conviction on 34 first-degree charges of falsifying company records at Manhattan Criminal Court.

President Biden is also facing domestic pressure regarding the war in Gaza, which is evident from his declining poll numbers.

On May 31, President Biden presented what he labeled as an Israeli peace plan, stating that “it’s a roadmap to an enduring ceasefire and the release of all hostages.”

He urged Hamas to accept the plan, which comprises three phases.

“Hamas says it wants a ceasefire. This deal is an opportunity to prove whether they really mean it. Hamas needs to take the deal,” President Biden said.

However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has had mixed reactions to this proposal.

“The claims that we have agreed to a ceasefire without our conditions being met are incorrect,” Mr. Netanyahu said on June 3.

When asked about the Israeli leader’s motivations, President Biden stated that he did not believe it was a matter of playing politics.

“I don’t think so. He’s trying to work out a serious problem he has,” President Biden told reporters before leaving for France.

Jacob Burg contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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