On the eve of the 38th anniversary of the World War II Allied invasion of Europe at Normandy, President Reagan recalled the event with pride and used it to demonstrate his belief that military force is necessary to preserve peace.
"One lesson of D-Day is as clear now as it was 38 years ago," Reagan said in a radio address to Americans. "Only strength can deter tyranny and aggression."
In a separate television address to the French people, Reagan recalled details of the invasion, which cost more than 10,500 casualties among the Allied forces. He also paid tribute to French leader Charles de Gaulle, quoting him as saying: "Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men, and men are great only if they're determined to be so."
In evoking memories of the wartime alliance, Reagan was sounding a theme to which he intends to return next week at a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Bonn.
"Ours was a great alliance of free people determined to remain so," Reagan said. "I believe it still is."
The president's five-minute radio address to America was the tenth and last in a series of Saturday radio messages devoted to the issues his administration has attempted to promote. White House officials said that the president will make other similar radio speeches in the future but probably not every week.