While President Donald Trump commemorated the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, Sen. Rob Portman spent part of Thursday at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. unveiling a tribute to another moment of that historic day.
Portman, an Ohio Republican, and Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, in 2013 introduced a bill calling for the prayer read by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the morning of D-Day to be installed at or near the memorial.
The bill became law in 2014 and on Thursday, Portman unveiled a temporary plaque at the monument, solemnly reading the same words Roosevelt read 75 years ago.
The 524-word prayer asked God to lead those fighting “straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.”
“They will need Thy blessings,” Roosevelt said. “Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.”
Some, he said, “will never return.” He asked God to “embrace them” and “receive them.”
He asked God to let those fighting “return to the haven of home.”
And he asked God to help those waiting at home “to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.”
“And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be,” Roosevelt concluded 75 years ago.
On the Senate floor Thursday, Portman said he wanted the plaque added to the monument “because it adds more context and more interpretation to that beautiful World War II Memorial.”
“We can never lose sight of the valor and sacrifice displayed by our armed forces on that day,” Portman said.
The permanent plaque will be just north of the World War II Memorial at the Circle of Remembrance.
While Portman commemorated the anniversary close to home, at least two Ohio lawmakers commemorated it with Trump in Normandy.
Reps. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, and Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, were both part of a congressional delegation that commemorated the anniversary in Normandy.
“It’s a humbling experience to walk where they fought and to imagine what they went through that morning, but it’s an important reminder of just how fragile freedom and peace are,” said Latta.
“I was extremely proud to be here today - not as a congressman, but as an American,” said Johnson. “It is a day I will never, ever forget.”
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