Lipinski, Hultgren Taking Off for Normandy Today To Mark D-Day
Rep. Dan Lipinski D-Ill. and Rep. Randy Hultgren R-Ill. are flying to Paris on Wednesday afternoon on an official visit to France to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, which is Friday. They return to the U.S. on Sunday. Lipinski and Hultgren are on what is called a CODEL, an official congressional delegation and on this trip it is the U.S. Army acting as hosts for the traveling lawmakers.
CODEL Normandy will fly on military aircraft from Andrews Joint Air Force Base to Paris.
The plane arrives early Thursday after the 7.5 hour flight. The CODEL goes to a lunch hosted by Claude Bartolone, the socialist president of France's National Assembly, then over to the U.S. Embassy for a "historical overview"
At 3:30 a.m. local time the lawmakers board a bus and head towards Normandy, with a box breakfast en route for the five hour drive. Security will be high because President Barack Obama and French President Francoise Hollande will be there to lead the tribute to WWII veterans. The lawmakers will be at Omaha Beach and move to Sword Beach for more ceremonies, with a box lunch en route. They take a bus back to Paris with a box dinner en route.
The main activity so far is a wreath laying ceremony and tour of the Suresnes American Cemetery.
The lawmakers fly from Paris to Cherbourg and then bus to Saint-Mere-Eglise for "airborne jump viewing."
BACKGROUND, FROM WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING ON WHAT OBAMA WILL BE DOING AT NORMANDY ON FRIDAY
On Friday, the President will travel to Normandy. This, of course, is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, an opportunity for the President to pay tribute to our veterans who served in D-Day and then World War II more broadly. And he’ll speak to their extraordinary service. He’ll also connect, of course, their extraordinary service to what we’ve seen from the 9/11 generation, who have similarly stood up to serve in a time of war, and done so with great bravery and patriotism.
The President will deliver remarks at Omaha Beach for a French-American commemoration, D-Day ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery Memorial. And then in the afternoon, the President will travel to Sword Beach, where he will attend a lunch hosted by President Hollande with the other leaders that the French have invited for the 70th anniversary commemorations. And then he will attend the international ceremony that the French are hosting with all the leaders of the various belligerent countries in World War II.
After that, the President will depart France and come home to Washington, D.C. on Friday night.
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