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CONNECT THE WORLD

Remembering D-Day 75 Years On; World Leaders Mark Invasion That Turned Tide of World War II; Tariffs on Mexico Could Cost 400,000 U.S. Jobs; Emmanuel Macron Speaks on 75th Anniversary of D-Day; Macron Honors Veterans Who Took Part in D-Day . Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired June 6, 2019 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They battled not for control and domination, but for liberty, democracy and self-rule. They pressed on

for love and home and country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Tonight, we remember the sea raging, the earth trembling and the skies roaring with young troops leaping bravely into

carnage like never seen before. Yes, it is exactly 75 years ago to this very day that the largest ever invasion across air and sea erupted into an

against all odds operation to break Europe free.

I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.

They were just young men, many teenagers when they braved a hail of bullets, charging directly into the fury battle without knowing if they'd

survive the day, all to bring freedom to Europe's shores. Today the world is thanking those allied troops who risked everything to storm the beaches

of Normandy 75 years ago, dealing a death knell to the Nazi occupation.

Well each year their numbers dwindle but several of these surviving heroes were honored at ceremonies in Normandy today. French President Emmanuel

Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump personally thanking them for enduring the fires of hell to help end World War II. Mr. Macron gave a

moving speech, switching briefly from French to English to directly address the American veterans behind him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: We know what we owe to you, veterans, our freedom. On behalf of my nation, I just want to say thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: President Trump also praised those veterans for helping, quote, vanquish the wicked tyranny of the Nazi empire on the face of the earth. He

says, their legacy will live forever.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: To the men who sit behind me and to the boys who rest in the field before me tour examples will never, ever grow old.

Your legend will never die. Your spirit, brave, unyielding and true will never die. The blood that they spilled, the tears that they shed, the lives

that they gave, the sacrifice that they made did not just win a battle. It did not just win a war. Those who fought here want a future for our nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Presidents Trump and Macron accompanied by their wives left flowers at the grave of fallen Americans at this cemetery in Normandy.

Earlier Mr. Macron accompanied British Prime Minister Theresa May. She visited the site where a new memorial will honor her country's troop who

paid the ultimate sacrifice.

We have a team of reporters helping us cover what has been this momentous anniversary. Melissa Bell now back on land. She's been on an amphibious

vessel that was used on D-Day. Jim Bittermann on the cliffs at Normandy. And Christiane Amanpour is at an American cemetery. Melissa, let me start

with you. As I said you been on one of those amphibious boats who used to bring allied troops ashore. Just talk to us about the memories that we've

heard today and the atmosphere where you are.

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: It is absolutely extraordinary, Becky. We're just heading back into the water now. But just take a look

behind me at these scenes on so many of the beaches today. People have come out in uniform. People have come out in the costumes of the day.

[11:05:00] People have brought out these extraordinary machines, lovingly restored over decades to be brought out once again. One of the restorers

was telling me -- one of the owners of these amphibious vessels was saying, the point is that through scraps, seeing these bits of metal, we can

continue to talk about history. We can continue to bring this extraordinary event of 75 years ago alive.

Now these amphibious lorries were not so much used for that first wave of troops who came in for the most part to a certain death, Becky. Especially

over on Omaha Beach just a little bit further that way. 90 percent of the first wave of men who arrived on these shores of Omaha Beach that they died

almost immediately under the fire of the German guns.

These vessels were used afterwards to come and bring supplies to the troops that were needed to sustain that operation as it began to turn in the favor

of the allies. They needed water. They needed petrol. They needed food for their troops. They needed equipment to try and get further inland once they

secured these initial beaches.

And the point of these vessels being brought out again today of all the reenactments that are happening all around the Normandy Beaches this

afternoon and over these few days and we've been hearing of course just a few moments ago from that main ceremony at the American cemetery above

Omaha Beach.

But here, a Gold Beach where the British troops landed and further along Juno Beach where the Canadian troops landed. There have also been

commemorative events that have been reenactments. People have come from all over the world to mark this extraordinary event and to ensure that its

memory never dies Becky --.

ANDERSON: Christiane, French President Emmanuel Macron offered his deepest gratitude to American veterans even while saying they deserve much more

than words and medals. He also had this message for U.S. President Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MACRON (through translator): The United States of America, dear Donald Trump, dear President, which is never greater than when it is fighting for

the freedom of others. The United States of America that is never greater than when it shows its loyalty to the universal values that the founding

fathers defended.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Politics largely absent from remarks given by President Trump and Emmanuel Macron by the shores of Omaha Beach today. But there was certainly

a message there from the French President to his U.S. counterpart.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: You know, I think there absolutely was and it was the perfect place to have this message. And

the U.S. President returned that message as well because he spoke about the alliance that had been forged in the fire of this battle. And he talked

about unshakable and unbreakable bonds. And this was a very, very full- throated, absolute endorsement of the alliance and, again, the future of the alliance.

And I think that is a message that's going to be heard loud and clear around Europe, certainly here in France and amongst all the leaders of the

Western alliance. Who sometimes worry about whether this President is fully committed to the multilateral aspect of NATO and all the other institutions

that the United States led and built up after World War II. So I think that was really important.

And if that wasn't enough, it was backed up and reinforced by the Army Secretary, Mark Esper, who I also spoke to today. Precisely about the

nature and the vital necessity for these alliances and that nothing can happen when one country goes it alone. Here's what he told me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK ESPER, U.S. ARMY SECRETARY: You know, this week I come here having traveled in the previous few days to Germany. I visited our troops in

Kosovo. I met with our allies in Romania and yesterday I came from Italy. And that each point in time I stop and thanked our allies for their

contributions to NATO, their partnership in other cases. And the one virtue that we have is the United States going forward. Because my job is to think

about the future as we look at China and Russia as potential adversaries.

The one unique advantage we have is we have allies. They don't. And I think that is an asset for us we need to cultivate and grow. But that also means

the NATO allies, our allies, contributing and making sure they help us with collective defense and security.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: So there he was, the secretary of the army himself, a veteran. His first deployment was in the first Gulf war in 1990. And he was really

again, saying in keeping on the message of the day, which is, these are the heroes of Normandy. These are the young men who were old men.

[11:10:00] Only 65 Americans left -- or at least only 65 of the D-Day vets came here today. And they are a dying generation. There will be very much

fewer of them next time around. And he was basically saying that this is what they have brought us. This major advantage over so much of the rest of

the world which is our alliance -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Jim, reading about D-Day in the history books, of course, is one thing, but nothing can beat hearing the stories firsthand from the men who

stormed ashore. You've been speaking to veterans, I know, in Normandy today. Let's just have a listen to some of what you heard.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VERN OLLAR, 81ST CHEMICAL MORTAR BATTALION: I always get a little lump in my throat. All those guys, we had almost 2,000 D-Day just on Omaha, 18, 19,

21-year-old guys. It makes me -- I get choked up.

GUY WHIDDEN, 101ST AIRBORNE DIVISION: I always thought God was with me. I don't remember any fear at all. Some apprehension not knowing exactly what

was happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Jim, how fresh are these memories for these men?

BITTERMANN: Well, I think they're very important to these men. And I think one of the reasons they want to come back is to refresh them and also to

perhaps be a bit honored. Several of them told me that when they went back to the United States after the war, they didn't speak about the war at all

because everyone had just been through it and they wanted to put it behind them. And so they went home and they lived their lives. And now 50, 75

years on, they're to the point where they're happy to get the kind of honor they've been given today.

I mean, one of the things you can appreciate when you listen to Vern Ollar there and Whidden, is that in fact they were very young at the time and

they didn't know what war was all about. They were put on boats. They came over to England. They trained up. They were put on planes and boats and

sent off to France to fight. And they had never been under fire before. So these are the privates, the corporals that are still alive.

The generals and the colonels may have been battle weary or battle hardened were, in fact, are now not with us anymore. They knew the grand plan, the

generals and the colonels, but not these privates and sergeants. They didn't know what was going on. They went off and next thing they knew there

were Germans shooting at them. And they did their duty. They accomplish their mission eventually but with a tremendous loss of life -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Christiane, we've discussed the French President's urging international support for this alliance of the free world, talking about

the United Nations, the European and NATO. These are three institutions, transnational bodies that were set up in the wake of the war with the

mission of preserving peace. And these are institutions that this current U.S. President has criticized. As you listened to Donald Trump today and as

you observed his demeanor and his performance, how do you think today might in any way make a difference to how he feels about these post war

institutions going forward?

AMANPOUR: Well, look, I think what he said was really important. As I explained at the beginning, the fact this was an alliance forged in the

battle heat, in the fire of that incredibly difficult war and that these are unbreakable bonds. I think that's really an important message. It's

just a couple of lines but when it comes to the President of the United States it reverberates and is really very, very important.

And then afterwards actually when he was in sort of a photo op with President Macron before their political bilateral -- before their one-on-

one meeting, he was talking about how moved he was and how impressed he had been by this day and by meeting so many of the veterans. By hearing the

guides who were actually guiding them in, you know, the military who were tasked with bringing the President and first lady in and telling them and

showing them the various sites and battle markers and what had happened to who, where.

And his actual speech focused very heavily on a few anecdotes of a few individual veterans. And they were very, very difficult stories. So he was

really, you know, reading these stories and telling these stories. And you could see that he was taking it in and I think that's something that

doesn't leave you. And no matter your politics, no matter how you feel the next day or even afterwards, no matter when every day other affairs of

state sort of takeover, you'll never forget being here at Colleville-sur- Mer

[11:15:00] American cemetery and the other leaders are up and down the beach at their national respective monuments, the cemeteries and the

beaches that they helped liberate. But this is more than 9,000 Americans, veterans of the war who are very here. There are little American and French

flags.

There was a really pretty amazing ceremony. There were 12,000 invited guests including all those vets. And the President waded into the crowd, so

did President Macron to hug them, pat them on back and say thank you. And it's not often very powerful people say thank you to people who don't have

the same power that they do. And to recognize that if it weren't for them, none of us would be here enjoying the freedom, the values, the democracy

and the common values that we've all been taught in an American-led post World War era.

ANDERSON: Christiane, thank you. Christiane is there as is Jim and Melissa. We very much appreciated superb reporting. The analysis is been incredibly

important to all of us. Thank you.

We've got a lot more of the D-Day commemorations for you folks still ahead on CONNECT THE WORLD. That's what we do here we CONNECT THE WORLD. Seventy-

five years after that historic event, we return to the hallowed beaches of Normandy with a unique view from above. It was hear on the northern French

coast that allied troops changed the course of the Second World War. We remember the sacrifices made and the lives lost on that day so many years

ago. That coming up in the next half hour.

And also ahead, the U.S. President says trade talks with Mexico are going well, but he maintains that he's prepared to slam his neighbor with tariffs

even as his own aides say it could risk slowing the U.S. economy.

But Trump strikes an almost conciliatory tone with Iran saying he could turn things around for Tehran very quickly. This as Japan's Shinzo Abe

hopes to ease some of the tension between Tehran and D.C.

We leave you with the memories -- before we do all of that -- of a D-Day veteran today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I think the first thing is to preserve peace. Do what it takes to keep the peace because war is a misery.

It ends with widows and orphans. War is a misery.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[11:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R-LA): I don't particularly favor the tariffs. I'm afraid that it might endanger some American jobs.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): This is the wrong solution to the crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But we think tariffs in this instance are hurting the chances of getting U.S. MCA.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, U.S. President Trump says trade talks with Mexico are going well, but an impending threat looming over them. The Trump administration

may still slap Mexico with tariffs in a matter of days unless Mexico does more to stop the flow of migrants entering the U.S. illegally. A new

nonpartisan report estimates tariffs on Mexican imports would cost more than 400,000 jobs in the U.S., a price Donald Trump seems more than willing

to pay. And he criticized members of the U.S. Congress who oppose these tariffs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We've told Mexico the tariffs go on. And I mean it too and I'm very happy with it. And a lot of people, Senators includes, they have no idea

what they're talking about when it comes to tariffs. They have absolutely no idea. We're the piggy bank. The United States is the piggy bank. It has

all the money that others want to take from us. But they're not taking it so easy anymore. It's a lot different.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: We've got an ear to the ground across all sides of this story. CNN justice correspondent, Jessica Schneider, is in Washington for you. Our

politics congressional reporter, Lauren Fox, is on Capitol Hill. And Paula Newton is in Mexico City. I want to get to you first, Jessica. It's not

just about tariffs, of course. Let's remember, this is about the reality along the border.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right, Becky. And there is out today a new Inspector General report that is talking about

not only the issues at the border but also in these detention facilities run by ICE. And the Inspector General really putting it bluntly. Saying

that two ICE detention facilities in particular, at those they found immediate risks and egregious violations when they did these surprise

inspections in the latter half of 2018.

This was an investigation that was prompted by calls to the Inspector General's hotline and concerns of some immigrant rights groups. And the

Inspector General in this report released today stressed that these immigrants, they're being held but they are not prisoners. And they're

saying that their detention is not supposed to be punitive despite these tough conditions. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Improperly packaged raw and leaking meat, overflowing toilets and moldy shower stalls and braided bedsheets --

referred to as nooses -- that have sometimes been used for attempted suicides. The Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General says that

these are some of the immediate risks and egregious violations found at multiple ICE detention facilities in unannounced visits over six months

late last year. The worst in New Jersey and California.

The Inspector General's investigation began after a tip about terrible conditions on its hotline. The IG made unannounced visits to four

facilities in California, Louisiana, New Jersey and Colorado. Immigrations and customs enforcement responded to the violations and said in an addendum

to the report that it has completed significant corrective actions to address identified issues.

ICE even attached pictures of improved bathroom and shower conditions at its California location. But the conditions were dangerous and unsanitary

for the nearly 5,000 detainees held in total at the four facilities. The IG stressing all the ICE detainees are held in civil, not criminal, custody,

which is not supposed to be punitive.

Nevertheless, the Inspector General found detainees at the New Jersey and Colorado facilities essentially trapped inside. Detainees were not allowed

proper access to outdoor recreation and forced to make due with a so-called recreation yard that had a partial covered roof or mesh cages on the glass

enclosures.

The IG also found the food handling situation so bad at the New Jersey center that the kitchen manager was replaced during the inspection. They

saw open packages of raw chicken leaking blood, slimy foul-smelling lunchmeat and moldy bread.

But the problems could get worse given the record number of migrants now in government custody. ICE's new acting director, Mark Morgan, said Monday

that there are currently around 52,000 single adults in ICE custody. That's an all-time high and exceeds funding levels yet again.

In the numbers across immigration facilities are expected to grow as more and more migrants crossed the border. Last month more than 144,000 migrants

were apprehended or encountered at the southern border, the highest monthly total in 13 years.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[11:25:04] SCHNEIDER: And all of these violations they were found over a seven-month period and ICE has since reported many fixes to the Inspector

General. But the IG is still insisting on more documentation and more follow-up inspections. So, Becky, there is also concern with this influx of

migrants that these facilities could become even more overwhelmed and maybe these problems could flare up yet again. Back to you.

ANDERSON: Exclusive reporting there, thank you, Jessica. Lauren, Donald Trump absolutely insistent that he will penalize Mexico if it doesn't bend

to his will, correct?

LAUREN FOX, CNN POLITICS CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: That's exactly right. And Republicans on Capitol Hill are deeply afraid of the fact that they just

have a matter of days before the President's proposed tariffs would go into effect. I just talked to two Republicans from the state of Iowa who both

told me they're hoping the President will hold off but they're losing hope that that possibility will come to fruition.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FOX (voice-over): President Trump pressing ahead, moving one step closer to imposing tariffs on all imports from Mexico.

TRUMP: We've told Mexico the tariffs go on and I mean it too. And I'm very happy with it.

FOX: With pressure growing inside the White House and backlash from Republican lawmakers, the President slamming members of his own party.

TRUMP: A lot of people, Senators included. They have no idea what they're talking about when it comes to tariffs. They have no absolutely no idea.

When you have the money, when you have the product, when you have the thing that everybody wants, you're in a position to do very well with tariffs.

FOX: Trump says his move is a threat to force the Mexican government to help stop Central American migrants from crossing into the United States.

The U.S. customs and border protection reports nearly 133,000 apprehensions at the southern border last month, the highest monthly total in 13 years.

This as top Trump administration and Mexican officials meet for a second time today after the group led by Vice President Mike Pence failed to reach

a deal Wednesday.

A senior White House official tells CNN there's, quote, a very small chance President Trump's tariffs won't happen. If they take effect starting on

Monday, a 5 percent tariff would be slapped on all Mexican goods entering the U.S. and it could reach as high as 25 percent by October. President

Trump falsely claiming that the tariff hikes won't affect American consumers.

TRUMP: The people aren't going to have to worry about paying the tax because the companies are going to move back into the United States. There

won't be any tariff.

FOX: The tariffs could raise the prices of products from produce to automobiles and call could also cost over 400,000 U.S. jobs according to an

economic consulting firm. Some Republican Senators say that tariffs aren't the way to solve the issue.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Right now what we're seeing, this is like a giant game of chicken. This is the wrong solution to the crisis.

SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R-LA): I don't particularly favor the tariffs. I'm afraid that it might endanger some American jobs.

FOX: Democrats also urging the President to find another way to work with Mexico on immigration.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I think that this is dangerous territory. This is not a way to treat a friend. It's not a way to deal with immigration.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOX: Now you know, Senators are upset with the President of the United States over these proposed tariffs but the biggest question is what, if

anything, his party will be willing to do to stop them -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Thank you.

Paula, what's the Mexican perspective then on all of this?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, they're at pains not to genuflect in front of the Trump administration. But President Lopez Obrador

himself really seeming to buckle a bit here and seeing what he can do to kind of diffuse the situation. I want you to listen to him just a few hours

ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR, MEXICAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We are attentive to the results of the talks and I am optimistic. I think we will

reach an accord and we are listening to the opinions of everyone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: Listening to the opinions around the table that continue talks at this hour as we understand it, Becky. And the point is we heard a lot of

language from Mexico yesterday which has to do with a crisis. How things have changed and how Mexico the fact that has to react. Their red line,

though, seems to be -- and as we saw from Jessica's report -- there are a lot of issues in terms of why these people are fleeing and the kind of

humanitarian crisis that's been created here. Mexico says it red line is that we have to treat this, they say, as a humanitarian crisis.

You know, a lot of what the United States wants, Becky, is a numbers game. You heard the figures, 144,000 apprehended on the U.S. side of the border.

Mexico is doing all it can to give those humanitarian visas, work permits. But at the same time they are failing to actually intercede or deport the

kinds of numbers that the United States would like to see and that's the issue at the table this hour.

Connecting the world this hour for you. Thank you, ladies.

[11:30:00] Coming up, we return to the beaches of Normandy where world leaders honored those who made the ultimate sacrifice on this day 75 years

ago. We look back at June 6th's most poignant moments. That's next.

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: The President, the Regional Council, the President of the Departmental Council, Mr. Mayor, Mr. Prefect, officers,

marine officers, ladies and gentlemen. On the 6th of June, D-Day, a day in which history turned. A date in which the fate of France, of Europe and the

world was played out.

No need to clarify what it was to remind you of the place on the 6th of June. It's a day of liberation, the dawn, the first light of a new time, a

new light. But the beaches of the Calvados and the shadow where we need to have strong imagination to represent how they were in that spring 1944.

Today before us the horizon is limpid. Seventy-five years ago early in the morning the greatest biggest float Navy has ever assembled on that day of

light 75 years ago. Where it was reddened by the blood of men and those in the bunkers. On this Normandy coast 75 years ago near close to 150,000

soldiers from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and so many other nations launched an assault on the Atlantic.

Today bringing ourselves together in a fraternal way paying our infinite respects to all generations who have freed the French people from the

veterans who carried out the D-Day landings and amongst them those French people who landed with the allied Navy with this courage.

There was only one certain fist but almost a symbol so powerful for the honor of France. And if they weren't so many those French heroes of the 6th

of June were everywhere, on the land, in the sea, in the air. Those working together with the Royal Air Force, those in the Navy, those on parachutes

landing in Britain and elsewhere, those French people of the 6th of June 1944, they were the 177th Navy officers. Those Frenchmen who very often

were also the Frenchmen of the 18th of June 1940 who went to London to join General De Gaulle and finally coming back to their country to give her

freedom.

On the 6th of June they were landing. It was 7:35. The sea was at half- tide. Along the sector on board the sector 177 men wearing a British uniform together with the French flag.

[11:35:00] Immediately there was fire on the boats. The firing that was struck the beach, the first wounded, the first dead, the soldiers with

their 30 kilo bags towards and against everything they advanced. Running, lying down, rising up again carrying out the assault with hours and hours

of fighting. The first silence, success of noise and fury and the horror.

The blocks of Courseulles-sur-Mer is neutralized. The men of Kieffer continued their march. It was along Pegasus Bridge. They carried on for 78

days, 78 days. This glorious page of history they were opening not only in France but also with and by the French people. They were the honor of our

country. On the beaches, Omaha, Juno, Gold, Utah, all of the soldiers on the Liberty were brothers in arms and of the souls.

These free forces who crushed the Nazi forces and yet in the hours and days that followed the landings, nothing has been achieved. Everything was to be

defended and remained to be accomplished and everything was hanging on a thin red that of courage on the evening of the 6th of June, a narrow bridge

was established. The liberation of France had begun. The bells had begun to ring for the end of Nazism.

France knows everything she owes to the soldiers of the landings, all the military soldiers remind us of the extent of the sacrifices, 3,000 soldiers

lost their lives on the 6th of June. 200,000 soldiers were wounded or killed and those heroes are the ones that we owe our liberty. Our

imperishable recognition that we express today to the very place of their suffering and their glory.

Amongst the 177 soldiers' number were wounded including -- others fell (INAUDIBLE FRENCH NAMES) died for France, died as heroes. When the end of

the Normandy battle ended, took place, commanders had given their lives.

Jean Massange (ph), was one of those 177 heroes who left us a few weeks ago. Jean Massange was 21 years when he jumped out of his embarkations of

his landing to save France. After a few minutes he was struck by a shell. He was almost dead, taken is dead. His wounds were serious. But he

survived. That morning at the very time of the landing on this morning ashes joined the coast.

Amongst the 177 of the command there were those from Britain, from Normandy, from Alsace, from all over France. Some resisted, others served

in the African army. Others had met in the Spanish camps.

[11:40:00] They were score pupils, police officers. There were those who believed in the heavens and those who did not. There were young people who

were married and teenagers who died too quickly.

Amongst them Rene Osay (ph), who was born Tunisia was only 17. He lied about his age in order to be able to join the army. He discovered France

for the first time on that sixth of June 1944.

All knew the risk and yet all accepted to accomplish it. That evening they were told the risk the previous evening. They were told that they would not

begrudge those who gave up on it. And that was the appeal. Not at their place those who had a pitiless training. Those who followed an exceptional

leader, Captain Philip who was a respected Naval officer and all of them put aside their personal ideas, their individual interests in order to work

for a cause, to serve the honor of liberty.

And today on this beach which is at the heart of that epoch, France bows down towards those 177 commanders and before the last veterans of D-Day

here. Colleville-Montgomery, I particularly want to distinguish the veteran of the commander. And I have a particular thought for his two comrades who

were not able to join us today but who are with us in their thoughts. Thank you to you three.

Dear Leon Gautier, you were not 22 when you put your feet down on this beach and yet it was not the first of your feats. You lived through the

convoys of the Atlantic, the submarine missions and the trials of Africa. You fought the route, the battle of Normandy during these 78 days

relentless days. 75 years later you are here.

These soldiers of liberty, you today are a symbol of the memory in the same way that you transmitted this to your grandchildren, to your grandson, you

transmit your knowledge to the young people about your comrades. Each one here remembers your friendship.

The veterans who had the open hearts and spirits, brothers of today, this Franco-German reconciliation and so we have which is a deep example of hope

and for European peace that we have some German officers here today. During this huge war we owe to you with gratitude that words cannot express and I

want to commit myself to you that what we keep intact, the colors of your heroic youth. The learnings of your virtues. And we've always kept with you

the memory of your comrades who fell in the brightness of their youth. Your example will be kept as an indestructible hope.

[11:45:00] It is in these years of memory of this bravery that (INAUDIBLE) we are to draw on this courage again to give their lives to save others

following your example. Officers, marine officers, (INAUDIBLE) you are the worthy masters and everybody who preceded you today, as tradition works is

because you succeeded the commander stage, we are giving you your green berets.

This to carry them, to wear them must be a pride and honor because they inscribe you precisely in this line of history which I've just described

you, in this line of heroes and command, you are worthy of it following demanding selection, great trials. You all come from exceptional units

forged by audacity, discipline, bravery, courage. France can count on you and she knows it and she does this because the flame of the commander has

never gone out just like the flame of resistance.

Dear youth of France, those of today, hear the message of your elders. You are the inheritors because you will have to soon preserve this flame to

continue to keep a society of liberty, of dialogue and fraternity. To be vigilant faced with the fanaticism, obscurantism because today those are

the deadly dangers. This commitment that you are called upon to pursue today. Remember this memory of the 6th of June of this bravery. That is

from where you come. That is from where you were born.

On the dawn of 6th of June these promises which must not pale. It's a significance. We must not be treacherous to them. We must not betray them.

We must keep this spirit of liberty and courage, courage by a few which makes us proud so that the longest day never ends and continues without

weakening to enlighten our century.

Thank you to you. Long live the Republic. Long live France.

ANDERSON: The French President honoring veterans on the beach at Colleville-Montgomery in Normandy in France. On the other side of the

channel during the height of World War II, London, of course, suffering through the blitz, the terrifying nighttime air raids by Germany.

Historian Taylor Downing joining me now from London. And as we step back and consider what we have witnessed today, what stood out most to you?

TAYLOR DOWNING, HISTORIAN: Well, we just heard President Macron there paying a very tribute to the veterans. And I think it's the veterans today

who have a nobility about them. And they're humbling hearing their stories.

You know, back in 1994 when President Clinton came to the Normandy Beaches for the 50th anniversary, there were 20,000 veterans on the beaches.

[11:50:00] Five years ago for the 70th there were 2,000. There's just a few hundred left today. And I think we must value them and the words that they

give us, the contribution they make, the humility that they bring. They aren't the me, me, me people. When you ask them -- I've met so many of

these veterans from D-Day. When you ask them, were they heroes? They say, no, we weren't heroes, we were just doing a job anybody would have to do.

And I think that's something that really does make them part of a great generation. And it's very humbling and lovely to see them here today. And

we know that we're not going to be seeing many more veterans in future celebrations like this.

ANDERSON: Politics largely absent from today's proceedings, from remarks given by, for example, the leaders of the U.S. and France. But what

happened on those beaches changed the course of history. What do you want, folks around the world who may be unfamiliar until today with what happened

three quarters of a century on, to know?

DOWNING: Well, I think we have to -- we certainly must accept that this was a turning point moment in the Second World War. The Battle of Britain in

1940, the battle of Stalingrad in 1942-43, and D-Day. They were the three real turning points of Second World War. And all of them required courage.

All of them requires boots on the ground or pilots in air. All of them required people to display extraordinary gestures, emotions of courage and

strength. That's something that I think we will always have to remember, whether it's fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, wherever it is, in the end it

always comes down to the courage of the young men and now women who are involved in those conflicts.

But also, I think what's impressed me very much, particularly yesterday, at the celebrations in Portsmouth, were you quite familiar at D-Day

celebrations with the British leadership, the American President, the French leadership, all being part of it. But yesterday, there was Angela

Merkel, the German Chancellor was there. There were the leaders of seven other Europe nations who were all part of the event. And I think it's this

idea of countries coming together fighting alongside each other for just and reasonable causes.

But you know when it comes down to it in the very, very end no matter how many numbers you talk about, the hundreds of thousands of men involved, the

4,000 landing craft, the 11,000 aircraft, the great strategic planning behind all of this, at the very end the real heroes are those guys who

clambered ashore on the beaches on the morning of sixth of June 1944. They are the heroes. And what those 18, 19, 20-year-olds were fighting for was

the freedom for Europe. The freedom of Europe. And is that freedom --

ANDERSON: With that, sir --

DOWNING: -- you and I and most of the people watching this program have grown up with. And we've enjoyed and we've benefited from.

ANDERSON: That's right.

DOWNING: They're the real heroes of this event.

ANDERSON: We're going to have to leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for joining us. And folks, we'll be right back.

[11:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINSTON CHURCHILL, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DURING WORLD WAR II: We will fight on the beaches. We will fight on the landing grounds. We shall

fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.

FIELD MARSHAL BERNARD L. MONTGOMERY, 21ST ARMY GROUP COMMANDER: To us is given the honor of striking a blow for freedom which will live in history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No I wasn't scared. Just thinking will I get through it tomorrow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mass weapons and bombers and transports let the way. More than 11,000 planes spearheading the attack.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: The greatest generation you've heard many times in this show. So for our Parting Shots, one final look at the somber remembrance of D-Day.

One of the most critical battles in modern history. The U.S. and French President shook hands with a few of the men who stormed those French

beaches in 1944.

The world is honoring the sacrifice made by thousands of allied forces facing Nazi fire 75 years ago today. Many of the troops were only teenagers

when sent on this high-risk mission that would save the free world. Most are frail now and at least in their mid-90s. Possibly making their last

journey to these windy bluffs.

The U.S. President said their mission is the story of an epic battle in the ferocious eternal struggle between good and evil.

I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD thank you for watching.

[12:00:00]

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