News Releases

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Isakson Remembers D-Day, Reflects on Visit to American Cemeteries in Europe, Africa 

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) today spoke on the Senate floor to share his reflections on the 62 nd anniversary of D-Day and on his recent trip to visit the American cemeteries and battlefield monuments located in Europe and in the North African nation of Tunisia.

"I have never seen the outpouring of love and respect for our country and for our servicemen than I saw in the Netherlands, in Belgium, at Belleau Wood outside of Paris and at the American Cemetery of Northern Africa," said Isakson, who serves on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. "I think it is appropriate for us to memorialize today what those of us who traveled on this trip saw and inspire all members of the Senate and hopefully all Americans at one point in their lives to travel to these marvelous memorials."

Isakson visited Ardennes American Cemetery and  Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium as well as the Netherlands American Cemetery. Isakson also visited several sites in France including Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument, Normandy American Cemetery, Suresnes American Cemetery and Belleau Wood Memorial. The trip concluded with a visit to the North Africa American Cemetery in Tunisia.  

"We went to the American Cemetery in the Netherlands and on that day 7,000 Dutch citizens came to pay tribute to the men and women of the United States of America who died on their soil so they could be free," Isakson said. "It was a moving scene unlike anything I have personally ever seen, and it renewed for me the faith and pride I have in all that's good about the United States."

The Congressional delegation was led by U.S. Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. U.S. Senators Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) joined Isakson and Craig on the trip.

"I'm going to see to it that my children and grandchildren get to visit this scene and have this experience. Only through the preservation of the memory of what those men fought and died for will we as Americans ever be able to continue to make the commitments we have around the world to preserve liberty and preserve democracy," Isakson said.  

"On this day of June 6, 2006, 62 years after 2,500 Americans died and tens of thousands of Americans pursued the German army in France, I know what I'll do tonight when I say my prayers. I will say a special prayer for those folks that I never knew. And I will say thanks."

Click here to read Isakson's speech on the Senate floor. Click here if you would like to watch the speech, listen to the speech or view pictures of Isakson's trip.