WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) led a bipartisan Senate delegation to Belgium and Luxembourg to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. On Monday, the senators joined members of the House of Representatives at an official ceremony at the Mardasson Memorial near Bastogne, Belgium marking this occasion.
Boozman and U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Rick Scott (R-FL) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) participated in events surrounding this milestone including meeting with U.S. veterans who fought at the Battle of the Bulge.
On December 16, 1944, the Germans launched their last major offensive campaign during World War II. The attack surprised Allied Forces in the Ardennes Forest in Belgium and Luxembourg. Outnumbered, facing record-low temperatures and dwindling supplies, the Allied Forces on the frontlines dug in to defend against the German army. The battle lasted for six long weeks. More than 89,000 American soldiers were casualties including 19,000 soldiers killed, 47,5000 wounded and 23,000 captured or missing in action.
The valiant efforts of Allied Forces made possible the surrender of Nazi Germany in May 1945.
“In the Battle of the Bulge, American soldiers demonstrated the commitment, courage and resilience that helped define a generation. To this day, we take immense pride in the unwavering bravery and valor of the Allied Forces in their decisive defeat of the German attack, ultimately leading to the end of the Nazi regime,” Boozman said. “It is fitting that we recognize the 75th Anniversary of a battle that both shaped the future of combat and ushered in a new era of comity between Europe and the United States.”
“On this 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, we honor the heroic efforts of the valiant Allied Forces who saved the free world,” Barrasso said. “My father, John, was one of these heroes. He and his fellow soldiers succeeded in slowing the German advance during this brutal, historic battle of World War II. It is an incredible honor to join veterans and world leaders at the commemoration ceremony in Belgium. We remember those who served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our freedom.”
“As the daughter of a veteran who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, I was moved and humbled to stand on the very battlefields where so many American soldiers fought to defeat the Nazis and keep our country safe, secure, and free,” Hassan said. “It is that mission that we have the responsibility of carrying forth to this day. I was honored to stand united with Democrats and Republicans alike in representing our nation in commemorating this historic battle and in meeting some of the veterans who served in those pivotal days.”
“As the daughter of a WWII veteran, this trip was a personal one for me,” Capito said. “75 years ago, many Americans lost their lives fending off the German offensive during the Battle of the Bulge, and these efforts ultimately paved a way to end the war five months later. Having the chance to visit this historical location was a powerful reminder of the heroic actions of the Allied Forces that protected our democracy.”
“I am deeply grateful to have joined a bipartisan Senate delegation in Belgium for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. We honored the U.S. veterans and all Allied Forces of the Greatest Generation who fought in what was the bloodiest and largest battle in the history of U.S. forces. These brave fighters include people such as my uncle, David Buckner, who participated in the Battle of the Bulge as part of the 117th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division. Our nation will be forever indebted to the courage, service, and sacrifice of those who contributed to this critical German defeat that helped end fascism and Nazi menace,” Fischer said.
“Seventy-five years ago, half a million Americans, including my great uncle, participated in what became one of the largest battles in U.S. military history,” said Rosen. “Throughout those six brutal weeks, the strength, grit, and courage of our men in uniform were tested, but our love of freedom and democracy prevailed. I was honored to join my colleagues in commemorating the Battle of the Bulge and meet with U.S. WWII veterans who fought to end tyranny and to protect our liberties and our American way of life.”
“Seventy-five years ago, American soldiers – including my father – joined our Allies to fight evil and free Europe from the yoke of tyranny. It was an honor to join my colleagues in Belgium and Luxembourg to honor the sacrifices made by so many freedom-loving people in support of this cause. We will never forget their sacrifice, and the United States will always stand up for freedom and democracy,” Scott said.
“The Battle of the Bulge was a historic turning point in World War II that led to the surrender of Nazi Germany,” said Tillis. “I am honored to be on this delegation to commemorate the 75th anniversary and pay tribute to the brave soldiers who were outnumbered and faced impossible conditions.”