What D-Day Message from Clinton?

Washington Times, May 22, 1994.


On April 19, Bill Clinton spoke to a group of high school students at an MTV Forum, the 24-hour music video channel on which he was to share time with (as The Washington Post put it) those “endearing morons” Beavis and Butt-head. On June 6, he is scheduled to share time with the other leaders of the Western democracies when he speaks in Normandy on the 50th anniversary of the landings on Omaha and Utah beaches by the Allied forces under the command of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. We know what Mr. Clinton said on TV when asked by 17-year-old Laetitia Thompson to disclose his choice in underpants, he responded, immediately and apparently without shame, “usually briefs.” But what in the world will he say, or better, considering his anti-military background, what can he say, at Normandy?

We know what ought to be said; we know that the greatest speech in the English language was spoken at a cemetery filled, like that in Normandy, with the graves of men who gave their lives for their country. Of course, no president, whatever his elocutionary gifts, can match what Abraham Lincoln said at Gettysburg, but, when the occasions arise, as inevitably they do, and will, every president is obliged to make the effort. So it was probably inevitable that, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Normandy landings, President Ronald Reagan should invoke the memory of Lincoln at Gettysburg.

American Enterprise Institute