Upper St. Clair Republican Rep. Tim Murphy joined Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., at Normandy today for a wreath-laying ceremony to mark the 67th anniversary of D-Day. The bipartisan bicameral duo, joined by the U.S. ambassador to France, paid their respects at a monument to the 2nd Army Rangers at Pointe du Hoc.
Full release is below the jump.
Normandy, France – Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18) today paid respects to the fallen and surviving American heroes of D-Day, joining a bipartisan congressional delegation participating in ceremonies at the Normandy American Cemetery and the monument to the 2nd Army Rangers at Pointe du Hoc.
Murphy represented the U.S. House of Representatives in a wreath-laying ceremony along with John Kerry (MA), who represented the U.S. Senate. After the event, which was attended by U.S. Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin and veterans of D-Day, Murphy issued the following statement:
“Words can hardly describe the raw emotion one feels when standing in the Normandy American Cemetery. To see the thousands of crosses stretching in all directions – all aligned in perfect formation as soldiers would be – one is gripped by the overwhelming valor and heroism that were common virtues every minute of that fateful day 67 years ago.
“I’m struck by the D-Day veterans visiting the cemetery today. Looking out over Omaha Beach and the choppy seas of the English Channel, it was truly humbling to hear their story: how on that D-Day morning they charged ashore in wave upon wave of ships and landing craft into the teeth of the German Army. One can only imagine what it was like running unprotected across the sand into a hail of bullets, mines and mortars, always pushing forward up these hills.
“I am deeply honored for the privilege of participating in today’s service at Pointe du Hoc, where the Army Rangers scaled 100-foot high cliffs to take a critical objective, suffering staggering casualties. I can only wonder what the veterans of this battle were thinking as I watched their tears fall when the Star Spangled Banner began to play. To lay a wreath honoring those who gave their lives that day and those who served, to be able to shake their hands, look our veterans in their eyes and say ‘thank you’ was to have touched the greatest of the Greatest Generation.”
The Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument sits on a cliff between Omaha and Utah Beaches, eight miles west of the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. It was erected by the French to honor the American Second Ranger Battalion that scaled the cliffs and seized the German artillery pieces that were positioned to fire on the American forces landing on Omaha Beach.