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Biden praises Rangers who scaled Pointe du Hoc during D-Day speech

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a speech in front of the monument on the "Pointe du Hoc" clifftop in Cricqueville-en-Bessin, in northwestern France, on Friday as part of the D-Day commemorations marking the 80th anniversary of the World War II Allied landings in Normandy. Photo by U.S. Embassy France/UPI
1 of 3 | U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a speech in front of the monument on the "Pointe du Hoc" clifftop in Cricqueville-en-Bessin, in northwestern France, on Friday as part of the D-Day commemorations marking the 80th anniversary of the World War II Allied landings in Normandy. Photo by U.S. Embassy France/UPI | License Photo

June 7 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden on Friday hailed the U.S. Army Rangers who scaled the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc during D-Day in World War II, saying that they helped change the world and protected democracy globally.

About 225 Rangers scaled the cliff over Omaha and Utah beaches to destroy Nazi German positions that pounded Allied troops coming ashore in the largest amphibious landing in history.

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"When we talk about democracy, American democracy, we often talk about big ideas like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What we don't talk about enough is how hard it is," Biden said.

He added that the Rangers that day put mission and country above themselves despite how difficult and dangerous the mission was, putting them in direct fire from German troops.

"They believed America was the beacon of the world," Biden told the attendees," Biden said. "The Rangers who scaled this cliff didn't know they would change the world, but they did."

Biden said while all the Rangers who scaled the cliff in 1944 have now passed, the echoes of their voices are asking allied countries today what they are ready to do to defend democracy.

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"American democracy asks the hardest of things: to believe that we're a part of something bigger than ourselves. So, democracy begins with each of us," he said.

Biden said he did "not believe that America's greatest is in the past," but to lead the defense of democracy worldwide. He said regardless of what walk of life they came from, they came together for a common cause.

"I've long said that history has shown that ordinary Americans can do the most extraordinary things," Biden said. "And there's no better example of that in the entire world than right here at Pointe du Hoc. Rangers from farms, from cities, from every part of America."

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