President Salutes Veterans Of D-Day
One of the president's honored guests – Jim Norene, a member of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne – didn't make it.
"Last night, after visiting this cemetery for one last time, he passed away in his sleep," Obama told a solemn crowd of vets stretching farther than most eyes can see. "Jim was gravely ill when he left his home, and he knew that he might not return. But just as he did sixty-five years ago, he came anyway. May he now rest in peace with the boys he once bled with, and may his family always find solace in the heroism he showed here." [...]
"In the face of a merciless assault from these cliffs, you could have idled the boats offshore," Obama said. "Amid a barrage of tracer bullets that lit the night sky, you could have stayed in those planes. You could have hid in the hedgerows or waited behind the sea wall.
"At an hour of maximum danger, amid the bleakest of circumstances, men who thought themselves ordinary found it within themselves to do the extraordinary. They fought for their moms and sweethearts back home, for the fellow warriors they came to know as brothers. And they fought out of a simple sense of duty – a duty sustained by the same ideals for which their countrymen had fought and bled for over two centuries."