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Shaheen, Hassan Return from France after Marking 80th Anniversary of D-Day

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, Chair of the Europe and Regional Security Cooperation SFRC Subcommittee and co-chair of the U.S. Senate NATO Observer Group, and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, last week traveled to Normandy, France, with a bipartisan Senate delegation to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion by Allied forces during World War II. During their visit, the Senators met with high level government officials, including Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, participated in briefings, attended ceremonies with WWII veterans and visited the historic battlefields. Shaheen and Hassan were original co-sponsors of the resolution, led by U.S. Senators Coons (D-DE) and Boozman (R-AR), to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, which passed the U.S. Senate last week. Photos from the delegation visit can be found here.

“As Chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Europe and Regional Security Cooperation Subcommittee, it was an honor to be in Normandy to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day and meet with WWII veterans who bravely served our nation and defended freedom and democracy. Their sacrifices and service remind us why those who fought on the beaches of Normandy are rightfully regarded as the Greatest Generation,” said Shaheen. “During our visit, I was also pleased to see Ukrainian President Zelenskyy as Ukraine continues to valiantly fight against authoritarianism and for our collective freedom. We must continue to strengthen our alliances because, as we learned in WWII, it is how democracy will continue to prevail.”

“It was an honor to join the bipartisan Congressional Delegation to Normandy to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day,” said Hassan. “It was powerful to see veterans who served in that fateful mission, and an honor to thank them for their heroism. Young men from every walk of life and every corner of our country braved truly awful conditions and barrage after barrage of enemy fire in order turn the tide in war and rid the world of Hitler’s tyranny. We have a responsibility to ensure that the bravery and sacrifice of these extraordinary Americans is never forgotten. World War II veterans, including my father who served during the Battle of the Bulge, understood that freedom isn’t free – and demonstrated throughout their lives that each and every one of us has an individual and ongoing responsibility to defend democracy and freedom at home and abroad."

Last week, Shaheen penned an editorial in MSNBC with U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), fellow co-chair of the U.S. Senate NATO Observer Group, to reflect on the 80th anniversary of D-Day, highlight the need to recommit to strengthening NATO and combatting authoritarianism at home and abroad. Shaheen helps lead efforts in the Senate in support of the transatlantic Alliance. Last month, she sent a bipartisan letter to President Biden outlining key objectives and priorities for the upcoming NATO Summit, which will take place in July in Washington, DC.

Senator Hassan joined a bipartisan Congressional Delegation to Normandy, France in 2019 for the 75th anniversary of D-Day, meeting with World War II veterans from the United States who made the trip for the special occasion. In 2019, Senator Hassan also marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, which Senator Hassan’s father, Robert Wood, fought in as a member of the 76th Infantry Division. Wood served as an infantry sergeant in the 385th Regiment, Company C. During that bipartisan Congressional delegation visit, Senator Hassan and her colleagues met with U.S. veterans who fought at the Battle of the Bulge.