PoliticsFriday 06.07.24

Former Army Ranger gets applause at Biden's speech at Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument at Omaha Beach.

President Joe Biden singled out and praised a former U.S. Army Ranger during a speech Friday highlighting threats to democracy at the Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument.

“John, we love you, man. Thank you for all you've done,” Biden said during his address at the World War II monument between the Omaha and Utah Beaches in France, as John Wardell got applause for his service. “You deserve that [applause] and a lot more.”

During his speech, on the same cliffs that U.S. Army Rangers scaled by during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, Biden commemorated several WWII veterans, including Wardell of New Jersey.

“Just 18 years old, he deployed to this cliff to replace the surviving rangers on that D-Day invasion. He would go on to fight across France and Germany,” Biden said about Wardell. “In early December 1944, during one of those battles, shrapnel pierced his skull. By Christmas, he was back fighting with his unit.”

Biden gave the speech a day after ceremonies were held in France to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Biden’s address Friday drew allusions to President Ronald Reagan’s oft-praised 1984 “boys of Pointe du Hoc” speech at the same location. Biden compared the 1930s and 1940s to today’s time. And he drew comparisons between Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Putin, urging wider support for Ukraine and for combating threats to democracy abroad and in the United States.

Recount Wire