Sacramento, California - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued a proclamation declaring June 6, 2014, as “Normandy Landing Remembrance Day” in the State of California.
On June 6, 1944, over 150,000 troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and allied nations landed by boat, glider and parachute on the coast of Normandy, France. This was “D-Day” for Operation Neptune, the greatest amphibious military operation of all time.
The troops who landed on D-Day faced the hardened defenses of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall and the seasoned soldiers of his Wehrmacht. Thousands perished or suffered grave wounds in the terrifying fight to secure the beachhead, a battle whose memory stands as an eternal icon of the courage of free people in the face of oppression. The bravery and professionalism of the troops who executed Operation Neptune led directly to the liberation of France, Belgium and the Netherlands and the final conquest of Germany.
Just prior to embarking on this mission, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied forces in Europe, addressed his troops:
“You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.”
He was correct in his predictions and his words still resonate today. It is fitting that we continue to honor the heroes who carried the cause of democracy and freedom on that fateful day seventy years ago.
NOW THEREFORE I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim June 6, 2014, as “Normandy Landing Remembrance Day.”
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 4th day of June 2014.
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor of California
Secretary of State