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Johnson, Portman mark D-Day anniversary

NORMANDY, FRANCE — U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, attended the ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the landing of Allied forces to liberate Europe during World War II.

“If you haven’t been to Normandy and Omaha Beach, it is impossible to describe the scene and the range of emotions one feels,” Johnson said in a statement. “I was privileged enough to be here for the first time this morning.”

Johnson accompanied President Donald Trump and members of the U.S. Congressional delegation during the ceremony.

“Today, the United States remembers and reflects on the 75th anniversary of D-Day,” Johnson said. “There are reminders everywhere here that clearly illustrate that the many freedoms and privileges we enjoy didn’t come for free — they came at a great cost and sacrifice by our fallen heroes and their families.”

Johnson said the landing changed the world “for the better.”

“Brave Americans and our Allies undertook the largest seaborne invasion in history and landed in Normandy to free the world from Hitler’s tyranny,” he said. “Twenty years later, on a visit here in 1964, President Dwight Eisenhower said, ‘These people gave us a chance. And they bought time for us, so we can do better than we have before.’ I thought about that quote today as I met some of those brave men who took part in the invasion.”

On the Senate floor on Thursday, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, read the prayer that President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered to the nation on the morning of June 6, 1944, now known as the D-Day Prayer.

Portman also read the prayer at the Circle of Remembrance, just north of World War II Memorial in Washington, as well as previewed the placement of a temporary plaque there, inscribed with the words of the prayer. The World War II Memorial Prayer Act, authored by Portman and Johnson and signed into law in 2014, directs the secretary of the interior to install a plaque.