U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute Friday to the U.S. servicemembers who "defied every danger" to pour onto the beaches of Normandy 70 years ago in defense of liberty.
His remarks at the American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, which overlooks Omaha Beach where so many fell, are part of a series of solemn events to commemorate the D-Day landings in northern France.
Obama, who arrived with French President Francois Hollande, shook hands with elderly veterans before the presentation of colors and playing of the two countries' national anthems.
Obama said he was honored to be there "to pay tribute to the men and women of a generation who defied every danger: among them, our veterans of D-Day."
Lengthy applause rang out as the U.S. President said he was humbled by the presence of some of those veterans at the ceremony.
"Here, we don't just commemorate victory, as proud of that victory as we are; we don't just honor sacrifice, as grateful as the world is; we come to remember why America and our allies gave so much for the survival of liberty at this moment of maximum peril," Obama said.
One night only, the 2012 candidates trade punch lines instead of insults. The competition is merely for who gets the most laughs, not the most votes. President Obama and Governor Romney were ready to compete just for that at the Alfred E. Smith Charity Dinner in New York last night. CNN Political Director Mark Preston is live from Washington with more.
While the candidates have been running an intense campaign, the atmosphere was lighthearted last night. “Mitt Romney and Barack Obama clearly don’t really like each other personally, and they certainly don’t like each other’s policies,” Preston says. “They they took this opportunity not only to take pokes at themselves, they took pokes at each other, but they also wrapped up political messages in their jokes.”
Just 19 days remain before Election Day and the candidates and their running mates are hot on the campaign trail to win over women voters. Obama and Romney are trashing each other to convince women that only one is the right choice for them. Obama’s large lead over women has declined in the last month and Romney had been making strides with them before his now infamous “binders full of women” remark. Either way, women remain a key demographic since they make up over half of the electorate. CNN Contributors Erick Erickson and Maria Cardona weigh in on the strategy. Erickson is the Editor-in-Chief of RedState.com and Cardona is Former Senior Adviser to Hillary Clinton.