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Blunt Commemorates 75th Anniversary of D-Day

June 05, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) spoke on the Senate floor to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. In his remarks, Blunt shared the story of Ralph Goldsticker, a Missourian who flew two missions on D-Day as a bombardier in a B-17 Flying Fortress.

Following Are Excerpts from Blunt’s Remarks:

“Mr. President, I want to talk a little bit about what we'll be talking about around the country and around the world tomorrow. Tomorrow's the 75th anniversary of D-Day. There aren't a lot of days known in history around the world by just one letter. But June 6, 1944, is known that way. It’s the greatest amphibious battlefield landing ever, and probably the single greatest military operation in history. It was done to liberate people in Europe from one of the most savage regimes that ever existed. …

“They were told that when you land in Normandy, you will have only one friend: God. And I'm sure there was lots of praying going on that day. It became known in literature and on film as ‘The Longest Day,’ and it gave the Allies the threshold they needed to free the continent from the crush of the Third Reich. Clearly, chaos, that many people doing that many things and that many different ways. There were missteps, there was bad luck. But in the end, there was an unimaginable amount of courage, of sacrifice, and of just simple providence in what happened that day. …

“One of the men who joined the fight that day, and there were millions who would eventually and hundreds of thousands that day, was Ralph Goldsticker from Creve Coeur, Missouri. He'd signed up for the Army Aviation Cadet Corps right after Pearl Harbor. He said, when talking about this later, his parents were scared silly when they found out that he had signed up immediately to become a flyer in what would become World War II. He flew 35 missions as a bombardier in a B-17 Flying Fortress, including two missions on D-Day.

“His first mission that day was to help take out the big German guns that guarded the beach where British troops for landing. He remembers the skies being so thick with airplanes that he had to fly from Southern England all the way back to Scotland just to get in line to head to France. Later that afternoon, he flew a second mission to attack German reinforcements who were headed for the beaches. Ralph was awarded the medal of the French Legion of Honor in recognition of his service. And you know he was just one, Mr. President, of thousands of Missourians from the lowest private to General Omar Bradley - who was commanding the American troops who were part of that day - and many of them would never return. …

“One observer wrote on D-Day: ‘Never had there been a dawn like this’. Seven thousand ships, 200,000 people ready to land and establish the beginning of the end of World War II. So today, we remember again the sacrifice of those thousands of soldiers and sailors and airmen. We honor their courage and their devotion to the cause of liberty. We serve them by continuing to remain strong and preparing to fight for freedom everywhere. That means doing all we can for the men and women who defend us today. It means we carry the legacy of the generations that fought 75 years ago on D-Day and every other war where Americans have fought and died. They deserve our gratitude today and every day. We need to continue to understand the importance of our alliances and our willingness to stand for freedom and this is a great day and a great, great week to be reminded of that, Mr. President.”

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