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Powerful and poignant D-Day quotes 78 years later


On June 6th, 1944, around 156,000 American, British, and Canadian troops landed on five beaches along the coast of Normandy, France.

This operation was known as D-Day, and 78 years later, the day, and the heroes who took part in the invasion, are still honoured each June.

Let’s take a look at some of the most powerful quotes about D-Day…

What is D-Day?

D-Day was the largest invasion ever assembled, as it featured 156,000 Allied troops on five Normandy beachheads. It was the start of operations which ultimately liberated Western Europe and ended the Second World War.

It is called D-Day, as this was used to refer to the date on which operations would begin. The day after D-Day was known as D+1, two days after were D+2 etc. This therefore meant that if the date changed, all other dates in the plan did not have to be corrected.

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The biggest amount of troops were from the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. Other troops which were included in the operation came from Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Poland.

Powerful D-Day quotes

“This operation is not being planned with any alternatives. This operation is planned as a victory, and that’s the way it’s going to be. We’re going down there, and we’re throwing everything we have into it, and we’re going to make it a success.”
– General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

“They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate.”
– President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

“This is a very serious business.”
– Photographer Robert Capa on Omaha Beach.

“This vast operation is undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has ever occurred.”
– Winston Churchill.

“At the edge of the cliffs, the wind is a smack, and D-day becomes wildly clear: climbing that cutting edge into the bullets.”
– John Vinocur, former Paris bureau chief, The New York Times.

Poignant D-Day quotes from recent years

“The fate of the world depended on their success. Many of them would never return, and the heroism, courage and sacrifice of those who lost their lives will never be forgotten.”
The Queen. 2019.

“Normandy, this was democracy’s beachhead. And our victory in that war decided not just a century, but shaped the security and well-being of all posterity. Whenever the world makes you cynical – stop and think of these men.”
Barack Obama. 2014.

“I remember the good friends that I lost there. So it’s a little emotional. I guess you can say I’m proud of what I did but I didn’t do that much.”
Ray Wallace, a former paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. 2022.

“Never forget, never forget. In this time, in any time, war is not good.”
Julia Kelly, a Gulf War veteran. 2022.

“Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.”
– President Ronald Reagan, on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day.

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