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Biden Lays Wreath at American Cemetery; U.S. Concerned as Tensions Rise on Israel-Lebanon Border; Putin Snubbed, Zelenskyy Attending D-Day Ceremonies in France; Biden and Macron Lead Commemorations in France; World Leaders Commemorate Historic Allied Invasion; Biden: D-Day Showed our Alliances Make U.S. Stronger. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired June 06, 2024 - 09:00   ET




MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: World leaders from 20 nations gathered in France today to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of D-Day the

allied invasion. It changed the course of World War II. International ceremonies happening around the beaches of Normandy where more than 150,000

allied troops stormed ashore to fight Germany's Nazi army. Thousands of young men died that day, and they're being honored on this day.

Also, a data on a veteran still living U.S. President Joe Biden greeted some of them earlier, all and are well into their 90s or more than 100

years old, on what for most will be their final trip to recall a day that really did change the world.

President Biden and Emmanuel Macron, the French President, are leading today's ceremonies. In a fiery speech, Mr. Biden warned the events of 80

years ago are very relevant in the current day, where Ukraine is fighting for its freedom against Russia in an unprovoked war.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: United States and NATO and a coalition of more than 50 countries standing strong with

Ukraine, we will not walk away because if we do, Ukraine will be subjugated and will not end there. Ukraine's neighbors will be threatened all of

Europe will be threatened. And make no mistake the autocrats of the world are watching closely to see what happens in Ukraine.


FOSTER: So a very fiery speech, as I was saying, from President Biden there really making a very stark comparisons to what happened with Hitler's

Germany and what's happening right now in Ukraine with that war with Russia. We're looking at many aspects of this day.

International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson is in London our Senior International Correspondent Melissa Bell is in France with more of the

pageantry and the solemnity really of the celebrations today. Let's go to Nic, first of all. Nic, can you just describe the significance of Biden's

speech because it was much punchier in the end than we expected?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: He was very direct. There was one person that he didn't name Donald Trump, the former president

who he'll be running against ever so lightly, it's an almost undoubtedly so in the upcoming elections.

And it was a reference to the isolationist path that Donald Trump appears to want to take and said that he wants to take the United States on one

that would perhaps break ties with NATO that would not support Ukraine in its war against Russia.

And President Biden made it very clear. He said that this is the isolationism didn't work 80 years ago, and it doesn't work today. So that

was a message against -- for his political competitor in the upcoming U.S. elections there. But there was also this message for coming generations, I

suppose, if you will, a message that was learned and paid for in blood by the veterans that he was meeting today.

And that was that unchecked tyranny is paid for in the blood or with the blood of the young and the brave, that if you don't stand up to it today,

then more people will die. And this is why -- you know the Veterans of D- Day landing their memories and recollections and what they represent to the world today was such an important core part of what President Biden wanted

to say.

Because it was very clearly that if we have to stand up to the likes of President Putin and other autocrats and dictators around the world, there

is no easy way. Freedom is not free he said, and we heard that from other speakers today.

So this was the sort of power and the substance two messages, one for his political opponent back home and one for his international adversaries, if

you will, on the on the global stage for a peaceful, stable and democratic future that he champions.

FOSTER: I just want to show those images we're seeing Nic of President Biden and Mrs. Biden looking at the wreaths in the graveyards if I can

describe them as that.


Because this is actually what today is all about, isn't it? When I've been speaking to veterans, they've been saying, it's not about the world

leaders. And it's not actually about the veterans it's about the people that died, because the veterans keep talking about the guilt almost of


ROBERTSON: Indeed, and this is a massive cemetery. And as we heard from the Director of the U.S. Veterans and War Memorial Sites around the world that,

you know, United States comes and helps you fight a war. We pack up all and leave, but all we ask for is a plot of land to bury our dead and this

large, large area has 9388 I think, different burial sites of different degrees.

I believe, more than thousands of those, at least at least 1,500 belong to U.S. servicemen after the war. Servicemen and their families were asked if

they would like the bodies to come home, and many chose to have them in turn, where they fell in. And it's to these fallen soldiers.

On D-Day, and the days that followed, there were 12 weeks of better fighting just to take control of Normandy. It was not easy. The beaches

were the beginning. But the death toll steadily mounted after that. And this is to whom President Biden is commemorating and visiting.

And just think over the past 80 years of generations of families of the families of those fallen there, the families, and veterans who survived D-

Day have come and walked a similar path and paid similar tributes. Because they recognize they were there at that moment of suffering and of pain and

a potential sacrifice for themselves. And this is the wreath President Biden's and -- Joe Biden's visit at the wreath there is a poignant moment

in today's events.

FOSTER: I want to tie together a few of the speeches if I could Nic. Because there are -- there were three main events this morning on the

different beaches, where the Canadians, the British, and the Americans landed and you know made such sacrifice. On the beach on Gold Beach, we saw

King Charles Head of State speaking for the United Kingdom. And there's the word that they both used, I just want to play what King Charles said.


KING CHARLES III, KING OF UNITED KINGDOM: We recall the lesson that comes to us again and again across the decades. Three nations must stand together

to oppose tyranny.


FOSTER: So he used the word tyranny, Biden also used the word tyranny and Biden directly referenced it to what's happening in Ukraine. If you tie

these speeches together, they're very much making this link to the past, but they're also making major accusations, aren't they about Russia?

ROBERTSON: Europe has lived this before. The signs and signals are there for those people who will delve into their history books as King Charles

has and does and as President Biden has and does do they know this. But there are a lot of people that are perhaps less well versed and D-Day and

the perils that brought it about.

They'll understand that there was Nazi Germany, perhaps and the World War was fought and tens of millions of people died in it. But they perhaps

won't understand and see the similarities as these two leaders do. Between events today, the President Putin's desire to take more territory because

he feels it's within the ambit of the history of his own nation as he -- as he sees it.

Hitler decided that he was going to take control of territory that he thought should fall under Nazi Germany's orbit of influence. And so it

went, but similarities are there. So in speaking about tyranny, they're both trying to evoke that time in the past to give an understanding to the

present generation.

But there's a thing about humans, I suppose at a very simple level Max. That is we don't pass memories down through DNA. The lessons learned by

these veterans 80 years ago, are not with their children in their DNA, they must be learned in schools and at ceremonies like this at commemorations

like this.

And this is what today is about and this is why we're hearing this sort of language because these are important lessons and understanding because the

challenges that face Europe in the United States today could call upon them to have to dig deep into their reserves of the young and the brave as much

as Ukraine does the day to put troops on the front line.

FOSTER: OK Nic thank you.


We're looking at images of what will become the climax really of the day. That's when all of the heads of state will come together at a main event

where they will all mark the significance of the allied effort, which eventually did turn the tide against the Nazi invasion of most of Europe.

But we want to go to Melissa Bell now because she's really coming as close as you can, I guess, to reliving what those troops went through as they

came in to land.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks very much Max -- here who's driving one of those amphibious vehicles that was used to such extraordinary

success by the allies 80 years ago today. This is an American dock, one of those amphibious vehicles that ferry the equipment to and from the ship for

the very first few days after the initial landings.

Remember that the artificial ports, such an extraordinary feat of engineering and coordination between the allied armies took several weeks

to be built. And of course, crucial to the success of those initial waves of men coming in to these beaches, like here on Gold Beach was the ability

of allies to be able to resupply them.

And perhaps you can see from this dock, what this speech looks like today to the point that Nic was making a moment ago about these events being made

to speak to the young and remind them of what went on here. There's a lot of families out here today, a lot of people who've come either dressed in

the fatigues of the time driving vehicles like this one or the jeep stuff on the land.

And a lot of families who brought their children to show them more about what went on here 80 years ago. And I'm just going to take you for this

ride now Max into the water to show you how extraordinary these vehicles are. We're getting to head in to -- the channel, these were the boats that

are remarkably difficult to maintain, because going in and out of the water -- requires and imagine a great deal of maintenance and love and care.

But it was insane 80 years ago, that allowed the allies in constant waves of resupply to drive into the water out of -- and dock with them with all

the equipments that they needed. Look at that, here we are into the water - - on both side this dock Max it was five to six pounds of equipment carried over each time -- further and further of course as the days were on beyond

D-Day further and further inland.

But straight from the ships and without having to stop up on the beach to resupply to the -- frontline for that equipment desperately needed.

FOSTER: OK, Melissa Bell out there on the water, amazing job that those guys are doing keeping those machines those really historic machines going.

Meanwhile, we're looking at veterans, the guest of honor today, arriving at the head of state event where Becky I think it's -- you know, this is what

it's about. But it's so poignant to see the veterans when you consider they're around 100 years old, and they would have been in their teens back

on D-Day.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: It is absolutely remarkable and just to get the sense there from Melissa of how they moved around what

was going on, unbelievable. And this is a commemoration for 80 years of D- Day thank you Max.

Let's get you back to this region. I'm of course in Abu Dhabi for you. This is our Middle East Programming Hub. It was another deadly night in Israel

Hamas war. Officials in Gaza say at least 45 people were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a U.N. run school.

You are looking at the aftermath of that attack. CNN has analyzed video from the scene, and has identified fragments of U.S. made bombs dropped on

that school. It was believed to be housing thousands of people displaced from their homes. Well, the Israeli military confirmed it carried out the

airstrike saying that it was targeting a Hamas compound inside the U.N. run school by the agency.

Well meantime, fighting on Israel's northern border with Lebanon has flared up again in the past 24 hours leading to renewed fears of a wider regional

conflict. CNN's Nada Bashir is following all of what are these latest developments. She's joining me today out of London.


We have very specific reporting and investigative reporting from our colleagues on what is going on with this very latest strike in Gaza and

evidence, it seems that this conflict once again, risks really spilling out of Gaza into the wider region. Let's start with what we know to be the

details of what is going on inside the enclave.

NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you mentioned Becky, we have new analysis from our CNN colleagues, which appears to show that U.S. made

munitions were once again used by the Israeli military in Gaza targeting areas that are densely populated with Palestinian civilians.

Now, according to analysis carried out with weapons experts analyzing video footage from the -- refugee camp, which was struck overnight, it appears

that U.S. made small diameter bombs were used. This would be the second time in two weeks that we've seen U.S. munitions used in areas.

This would be the second time of course, in two weeks that we would have seen U.S. munitions being used in areas that are sheltering civilians. And

as you mentioned, this was a U.N. run school that has thousands of civilians. Now according to the U.N. Agency for Palestine, refugees, some

6000 people at least were believed to be sheltering inside the school, but approximately 20,000 people overall have been sheltering on the grounds of

this particular un premises.

Now the Israeli military has said it was targeting Hamas infrastructure. It believes that was a Hamas center within the U.N. run school. But clearly

this was an area that was densely populated. At least 45 people are killed in these overnight strikes. Our -- on the ground in Gaza reporting three

missile strikes overnight, the U.N. agency saying they believe several strikes took place.

And of course, as we know, the hospitals across the Gaza Strip are severely overrun. Medics on the ground say and health officials on the ground say

they believe that death toll could continue to rise up. They are continuing to see casualties being brought in.

And of course, this comes just the day after we saw another strike in Central Gaza targeting the -- region, again an area where thousands of

civilians are sheltering. Important to underscore of course, what we have seen over the last few days and weeks is civilians who had been sheltering

in the south, particularly in areas in and around the City of Rafah, where, of course, the Israeli military is intensifying its operations.

We have seen civilians returning to Central Gaza in search of any kind of safety that they can find. And yet we are now seeing Central Gaza,

continuing to be bombarded by the Israeli military clearly no safe spaces left for civilians in Gaza.

ANDERSON: And no end in sight for this conflict even on a temporary basis. If there was a ceasefire and a hostage deal, it would be for some six weeks

in phase one. No sign that that is imminent at present.

Meantime, tensions wrapping up -- ramping up on the Israel Lebanon border, which of course is to the north of Gaza, as the IDF warns that there is a

decision approaching on what Israel intends to do with regard the Iranian proxy Hezbollah. What's going on that border and what do we understand to

be the strategy from both sides?

BASHIR: Look Becky we've seen that exchange of fire across the border between Hezbollah and the Israeli military from the outset of the war in

Gaza. It appears as the tensions are certainly intensifying on the border the Israeli military saying on Wednesday that some 30 rockets were launched

by Hezbollah onto Israeli territory in the north.

And of course, we have seen hundreds killed on the Lebanese side. The Israeli military claims to have killed 300 Hezbollah fighters. We know of

course, that dozens of civilians have also been killed, including journalists reporting along Lebanon's southern border.

And of course, we have seen nearly 100,000 civilians within the southern border area in Lebanon evacuated some 50,000 or more in northern Israel

also evacuated as a result. But there are fears that these tensions could escalate. We know that Hezbollah has described this as being another front

of the war in Gaza.

Those tensions that crossfire will not end until the war in Gaza come to an end. But Hezbollah says they do not want to see an outright war with

Israel. We have of course heard from the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He was in the north yesterday and he has said that he is

preparing for very intense action in his words in the north if needed one way or another. He said we will restore security to the north Becky.


ANDERSON: Nada Bashir on the story, thank you, Nada. Take a look at this number 90 percent of children in Gaza are experiencing severe food poverty.

That's according to a new report by UNICEF. The U.N. children's agency says the wall means kids aren't getting the different food groups they need to

grow and develop, increasing the risk of wasting, which is a life threatening form of malnutrition.

We're just going to take a moment for that, for us all to absorb that. Well, as nations mark the 80th Anniversary of D-Day in France, there's one

notable absence Russian President Vladimir Putin. A look at why he was not invited and the symbolic significance of this move that is up next.


FOSTER: British Marines landing on Gold Beach in that wreath laying ceremony earlier today as the world remembers D-Day 80 years on. This is

what's happening in Normandy right now. They are gathering for an international ceremony where veterans from the various countries involved

in this operation will be honored by heads of state from many of those countries.

So that's a big moment of the day. And you'll see the President of France handing the nation's highest honor to many of those veterans. So that'd be

really poignant because they're, of course, so few of those veterans left and it's really poignant to imagine that the only ones left are the ones

that were the youngest there on that day 80 years ago.

Russia President Vladimir Putin noticeably absent from the commemorations of course Mr. Putin has attended D-Day Anniversaries in the past. The

Soviet Union played a huge role in the war. But the French government said he was not invited this year due to Russia's war against Ukraine, which was

referenced in President Biden speech.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is though part of this year's ceremony. So, so much symbolism involved in this. Joining me now to discuss

the significance of Russia's absence is Marina Henke. She's the Director of the Hertie Centre for International Security in Berlin. Thank you so much

for joining us.


So just explain Russia's previous involvement in these events. It's -- you know they do have a -- you know the Soviet Union at least has a place at

these moments, doesn't it?

MARINA HENKE, DIRECTOR, HERTIE CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY: Absolutely. And Russia ever since the Cold War ended used to participate in

these commemorations, as you know, there were two fronts that was the Eastern Front, led by the Soviet Union trying to defeat Hitler. And then

there was the Western Front, led by the United States and Great Britain.

And this was the D-Day. This was the landing, it was actually to reinforce the Eastern Front or meaning like having them squeezing the Germans in the

middle so that Russians were coming, the Soviets were coming from the east, and the Western allies were coming from the west.

And so of course, you know, like there is traditionally -- you know like place for Russia, in these commemorations, but not this year, for very good

reason. Because what they are doing in Ukraine is -- you know also once again, an illegal invasion of a democracy. And so I think its right that

they were not invited.

FOSTER: Were you -- I don't know if you had a chance to catch President Biden speech. But it was very pointed. It made direct reference to Hitler's

Germany and the current situation in Ukraine. So that's the starkest comparison we've had, isn't it?

HENKE: It is, yeah. And, you know, I mean, D-Day was a massive undertaking. We had 200,000 navy personnel involved in mission overlord. But what is

even more striking the 2 million waiting in Great Britain being trained to -- first cohort and as once they had established the beachhead in Normandy,

to follow in -- trying to defeat Hitler.

And of course, you know, like -- I mean the comparison with Ukraine, I think is correct in the sense that, once again, a great power tries to grab

a little one. But on the other hand, we don't see the same commitment from the Western powers. We see commitment. So they do give military aid. They

do get financial aid. And of course, there are a lot of declarations of support.

But you know -- we have a long way from having actually a boots on the ground in Ukraine. So NATO forces helping the Ukrainians and also we see a

lot of restraint when it comes to the use of the weapons that the West is sending to Ukraine.

It's been loosened now as probably you know and you have heard it in the news. But so that is a lot of restraint and don't see the same political

the same commitment that clearly wasn't a play in a D-Day in 1944.

FOSTER: Did you see a mention of Trump in his speech as well? I know the Biden was talking about isolationism not being the answer then, and it

isn't now. And that is an accusation often pointed to Donald Trump, isn't it?

HENKE: It is absolutely, but not just Trump, per se. Trump I think he's very transactional. I'm not sure whether he has actually a foreign policy

philosophy. But we see isolationism, resurgent, also the American elite, this was -- you know like I think one of the reasons why for six months

Ukrainian aid stalled in the U.S. Congress. And so to a certain degree, it goes much deeper than Trump as a person. He certainly captures this

movement. But I don't think actually he himself as a well formed -- foreign policy ideology, apart from just being transactions.

FOSTER: Obviously, NATO came after D-Day but -- you know it was born out of D-Day, many people could argue it's its greatest example of how the allies

could work together. Let's just hear Donald Trump's speak to NATO earlier this year, I think it was February.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of the presidents of a big country stood up said, well, sir, if we

don't pay, and we're attacked by Russia, will you protect us? I said you didn't pay your delinquent. They said yes. Let's say that happened? No, I

would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You got to pay.


FOSTER: We've often got to separate, haven't we? What Donald Trump says and what he actually does? But how do you interpret his perspective on NATO? Is

he anti-NATO? Or is he just pro the idea that people should pay their fair share, which is legitimate, according to many experts around the world?

HENKE: The truth is I think we don't know. Of course, also in his first presidency, he wasn't -- you know unnecessarily nice about NATO. But he --

you know cooperated with NATO to a certain degree. So I think you know, like, it is unlikely that he will he will completely abandon NATO but

certainly this is a very clear message to the European NATO members that they need to step up.


There's no more free writing, there is no more investment in social spending instead of military spending. And I think this call has been hurt,

especially in the country where I come from Germany, but of course, now very, very difficult decisions to be made.

Because there are a lot of constituencies that got used to a very generous welfare package that the German state was delivering, and how do we have in

Germany, in Berlin, these very intense discussions? Where can these social spending but also other infrastructure, agriculture spending subsidies, and

where can they are cut?

So actually, that the 2 percent mark, that that that NATO asked for can be met? And it's very difficult, it's very hard.

FOSTER: It's notable, isn't it? How many young people there are in this event as well, and that's intentional, because everyone involved in this

event wants young people to learn the lessons of the past and to understand the stories from the veterans that are still alive.

Interestingly, as well, we have Rishi Sunak there, the British Prime Minister, who's been talking about bringing back national service. But this

is, you know, one of the starkest things, isn't it that you had the 16, 17, 18 year olds, voluntarily going to war protecting their countries, and

you've had a massive lash back to Prime Minister Sunak's idea amongst the young that, you know, they might have to go to war. There's a massive

generational divide, do you think D-Day can bring them together?

HENKE: So for me, D-Day is really the symbol that when Western nations combine all their forces, and it's not just the military forces, but it's

also the human capital that they have, the financial capital they have, the technological capital that they have, if they combine all of this, they can

literally defeat evil, because this is what happened.

They defeated Hitler. But this idea that democracy is under threat that our freedom is under threat is very far away from the young generations. I'm a

professor I have -- you know, I deal with young students and all the time and you know, like they have grown complacent. Western Europe has grown

complacent they take democracy they take revenge to a certain degree also our wealth for granted.

And so I think the story that comes out of D-Day, we cannot take this for granted, we need to fight for it and actually our and grandparents or great

grandparents fought for it. Literally, I think this is a very important takeaway that needs to be taught maybe even more in our schools and


FOSTER: OK, keep teaching them. Thank you so much, Marina Henke. Really appreciate your insights today, just ahead.

HENKE: Thank you.


TOM HANKS, AMERICAN ACTOR AND FILMMAKER: You said finally, I'll be able to do with film technology. I'll actually be able to capture what happened on

Omaha Beach.


FOSTER: So many people have been going up to him today trying to catch his picture because of this film. Tom Hanks in Normandy for today's anniversary

talk to our Christiane Amanpour about Saving Private Ryan's role in history.



FOSTER: Welcome back, I'm Max Foster in London. We are following events across the water in Normandy, France as the world marks 80 years since the

D-Day landings that turned the tide against the Nazis in World War Two. You're looking at live pictures from Omaha Beach on the Normandy coast

where the global leaders are gathering for an international ceremony with veterans from all of those nations represented dwindling numbers of course.

Now, earlier U.S. President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron pay tribute to World War Two veterans at the Normandy American Cemetery.

More than 9000 America American soldiers are buried there. Most of them died in the D-Day landings in 1944.

Capping that ceremony, the playing the taps and a 21 gun salute to some of the few surviving D-Day veterans. I looked on there, our Chief

International Correspondent. Anchor rather Christiane Amanpour also looking on at the American Cemetery in Normandy. And that's really where the story

is, isn't it? The ones who have fallen, which the veterans want us to remember more than anyone?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Absolutely. And Max, of course, this whole commemoration is really a celebration of those

veterans, are not only those who live here in their final resting place, but of those who have survived. And that was the theme of all the speeches

that were made from the French President, the American President, the Secretary of State and all just basically saying thank you.

You actually save the world, and those, who could stood up and receive the highest civilian honor from the French President -- about 11 American vets

of D-Day. Got that and they got, you know, a handshake in a presidential coin pressed into their palms by President Biden as well.

Both presidents talked about how this 80 year anniversary coming in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, well into its third year

reminds everybody of the need to stand firm, to keep defending democracy, to keep defending Ukraine and to remember everything that is at stake.

And to that point, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy is here. And you were mentioning an international ceremony due to take place shortly

on those beaches. Well, that is where he will be. He wasn't up here for the morning because this was an Anglo, rather an American-French ceremony.

But also, Tom Hanks has been here the actor Steven Spielberg, the director, both of whom together and separately have not just made the most phenomenal

films, but the most phenomenal films and narrative record on World War Two Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, and the Pacific masters of the air,

all of this anthology about World War Two.

It of course, Spielberg has got his show a project as well, which is about remembering the Holocaust, of course with interviews of all those

survivors. And I talked to Tom Hanks about filming Private Ryan, even though he's an actor and not a fighter, what it meant to him and what this

kind of storytelling means to him?



HANK: I remember when we were shooting and by the way this is one of the reasons Steven Spielberg wanted to make the movie. He said finally I'll be

able to do with film technology. I'll actually be able to capture what happened on Omaha Beach. And here's how I'm going to do it.

First, it's going to take three weeks. As I go, it's going to be every single day. And third, we're going to have all kinds of stuff going off and

forth in between there, we'll make some sort of movie. At the same time, we're trying to load it up with as much authentic and I wanted to use the

word again verisimilitude as we can.

OK, that's our job as filmmakers. It's also our job as lay historians, because for good or for bad, that movie is a document that has to

accurately reflect the tenor of that day. And I'd like to think that we did it and hearing it from a number of people, who said as confusing as that

is, well multiply that by.

We did not have the smell of cordite or burning flesh, or you know blood on the sand. But we did have some version of that how whatever you can get out

of a motion picture, I think we captured it and to Steven's credit. And I will also go along with the audience's credit as well.

They were willing to suspend whatever disbelief of it and say, I've always, if you've ever wondered what it was like, that's as close as somebody in

Davenport, Iowa, or Oakland, California, or Minneapolis, Minnesota was going to get today.


AMANPOUR: And he's right, of course, 26 years later, that film is still watched, and it's still so relevant, and you cannot help but just remember

and be so odd, literally odd and inspired by the boys of Pointe du Hoc as Ronald Reagan called them back in his speech in 1984.

And he was remembering these young men, so many of them young, young men who had come here to fight against a monstrous tyranny, and to liberate --

basically to liberate not just France, but the rest of occupied Europe and defeat Nazi Germany and its authoritarian, genocidal project for Europe.

And this is a lot of what's at stake today. The idea that there is a war raging in Europe, a major ground war raging in Europe for the first time

since World War Two is something that's very much on the table in every speech here today, Max.

FOSTER: I spoke to a veteran saying he can't believe world leaders are getting involved in wars again, having known what happened on D-Day, you

know, people reliving it through the movie also various speeches over the years. I want to go back to 1984 when Reagan spoke to this.


RONALD REAGAN, 40TH U.S. PRESIDENT: We in America have learned bitter lessons from two world wars. It is better to be here ready to protect the

peace, than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We've learned that isolationism never was and never

will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments within expansionist intent.


FOSTER: I mean, the very similar parallels to Biden's speech today, but I guess it is the same argument, isn't it when you look to Ukraine?

AMANPOUR: I mean, it absolutely is, it is incredible that Reagan actually spoke those words 40 years ago, that was 1984 on the 40th anniversary of

the D-Day landings. And even then, you know, they were clearly, knowing that they had to battle the forces of isolationism. And that was not the

answer to peace in the world.

It had to be one of engagement. But Reagan was also talking about peace through strength. And at the time, of course, it was in the midst of the

Cold War, the Soviet Union had not yet fallen, and part of his speech was also about the Soviet Union. He paid tribute to the 20 million Soviets who

were killed and died during World War Two.

And also thanked them for liberating the parts of Europe that they did. But then he said, and this was again was in 1984. But then they stayed

unwanted, uninvited, unyielding. And he again said that we look for a sign that the Soviet Union wants a better relationship with us. And then he

presided over that actual moment when he found a partner on the other side in Mikhail Gorbachev.

And together, they enabled basically the fall of communism. And that was considered to be a departure point for history. And for many decades, it

was until now it was, again, you know, a Russian leader who regretted the fall of the Soviet Union, and has now launched this revanchist program with

his full scale invasion of Ukraine.

The threats to other nations around there and wanting to recreate and reestablish that kind of imperial Russian Empire an area of dominance and

that was course was referred to here as well, Max.


FOSTER: Christiane, thank you in that powerful scene of those courses there as world leaders come together to mark D-Day 80 years on, back in a moment.


ANDERSON: Well consumers across much of Europe are set to get a break in borrowing costs. The European Central Bank announced last out that it is

cutting interest rates by a quarter of 1 percent and that from the ECB is the first reduction in nearly five years. Today's move was expected and

markets in Europe arm modestly higher on the news it comes a day after Canada's central bank cut rates.

Wall Street though of course is still waiting for the decision by the U.S. Fed when will it make it first card of course U.S. inflation remains

somewhat high and stubborn lead so -- it CNN's Business Reporter and Writer, Hanna Ziady is covering this story for us. She's live out in London

today. Thanks for joining us. What's the backdrop to this cut today from the ECB, do you think?

HANNA ZIADY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: Becky, really the backdrop is that inflation is finally easing. It's finally coming off the multi decade highs

that it's reached in the past few years. And of course, central banks around the world rapidly hiked interest rates to combat those rapid price

rises that we saw in energy and food and many of the goods and services that we consume.

There are signs now that are easing. I think many of us would feel -- still feeling the effects of those high prices. We may not be feeling like

inflation is coming down, but certainly the pace of price rises is falling, is slowing. And so it looks now like we are heading into a period of rate

cuts, Becky.

ANDERSON: Big question is and this is certainly what Wall Street investors have got a keen eye on is when the U.S. Fed is likely to cut for the first

time? Is that clear at this point?

ZIADY: It's not you know and the U.S. Fed will meet next week at the moment traders are overwhelmingly betting on the fact that they will hold rates

they won't cut. This is actually in fact the first time the ECB has cut before the Fed. So traders expect the Fed to hold and as you pointed out

U.S. inflation has been coming down more slowly.

The U.S. economy has been a lot more robust than Europe's economy and Fed officials have been very clear that they're not in a hurry to cut.

Unemployment is very low. And consumer spending has been propping up the U.S. economy. Now there are also signs of life, returning to Europe.


Europe economic growth is in proved in the first quarter unemployment also at record lows here and wages growing strongly and in fact, although the

ECB moved today, and let's think that they will hold rates at their next meeting in July one analysts calling it a hawkish cut.

And certainly ECB President Christine Lagarde, not pre committing to any path, any rate path and really stressing today, in a press conference that

they will be data dependent, they will decide meeting by meeting, there has been some sign of inflation actually ticking up in Europe more recently.

And you know, central bank officials are very wary to cut rates too quickly, and then see inflation pop back up, only to then have to raise

rates again, because that's very disruptive to the economy. So it's likely that we'll see the ECB hold in July. But certainly, all attention will now

turn to that Fed meeting next week, Becky.

ANDERSON: Good to have you. Thank you, Hanna. Still to come, world leaders joined veterans in Normandy in France to honor and remember those who

fought on the beaches of France on D-Day in 1944.


FOSTER: Welcome back special events going on throughout the day to mark the 80th anniversary of D Day. Veterans and world leaders including U.S.

President Joe Biden gathering to honor and remember, those who fought and died on the beaches of France in 1944.

Earlier the Biden has joined French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte, for the main ceremony commemorating D-Day in Normandy for the

American groups who are gathering there. Priscilla Alvarez joins us from Washington. And, you know, I know that you've been given some briefing on

how powerful the speech would be.

But I think it took a lot of people by surprise, that direct comparison being made with what's happening in Ukraine right now.

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Certainly an undercurrent in his remarks and underscoring the significance of the moment of this anniversary

given the current geopolitics. Now this was a forceful address by President Biden against a very somber setting. And over the course of his remarks, he

talked about the heroics of the soldiers that day.

But then he went on to talk about democracy, and then it's not guaranteed and -- what this the sacrifice of those soldiers to get to where we are

today, and in some ways, sort of passing the batons to the next generation, noting that this may be the last major milestone for the veterans that you

see seated behind him and will democracy fade with them given the resurgence of autocracy.

And so that was by part, a very important part of his remarks going into today. And he talked about the strength of alliances and noting that

isolationism was not the answer 80 years ago, and it's not the answer now. Take a listen.


BIDEN: Isolationism was not the answer 80 years ago, and there's not the answer today. We know the dark forces that these heroes fought against 80

years ago. They never fade, aggression and greed, the desire to dominate and control to change borders by force these are perennial.


The struggle between a dictatorship and freedom is unending. Here in Europe, we see one stark example. Ukraine has been invaded by a tyrant,

then on domination.


ALVAREZ: So you heard him there talk about Ukraine, and that has been front and center on the mind of the President and senior U.S. officials and going

to commemorate this 80th anniversary of course, making the point that Ukraine is still fighting against Russia. Russia, of course not present for

this anniversary.

But clearly, Max, just a very somber moment and when the President wanted to mark by noting the importance of democracy, we'll hear more about that

exact issue and remarks tomorrow by President Biden.

FOSTER: OK, thank you, Priscilla. CNN's special coverage of this anniversary continues. Becky, will join me again after the break.