In June 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden faced criticism from several observers and commentators, principally right-leaning critics, for his purported failure to acknowledge or commemorate the 77th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Normandy, France, a turning point in the Allied victory in World War II, which took place on June 6, 1944.
Fox News, for example, reported that Biden had “snubbed” and “failed to acknowledge” the anniversary, while California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner, whose father William served as a U.S. Army Ranger on D-Day, expressed disappointment in an interview with the network.
Various other observers, mainly right-leaning commentators, expressed similar outrage on social media.
Claims that Biden had failed to acknowledge or commemorate the D-Day landings in 2021 were accurate. As a result, we are issuing a rating of “True.”
Snopes examined official and personal social media accounts associated with Biden and the White House and found no record of any acknowledgement, mention, or commemoration of D-Day within two days of June 6. Similarly, the “Briefing Room” — the White House website’s bulletin of news releases, statements, and speech transcripts — contained no mention of D-Day during the same time period.
At a press briefing on June 7, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki about Biden’s failure to commemorate the anniversary, to which Psaki responded:
I can tell you that certainly his value for the role that the men who served on D-Day, and the memory of them, the families who have kept their memories alive over the course of years on this day, is something the president has spoke [sic] to many many times in the past. It’s close to his heart, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s more we would have to say on it.
As was pointed out by some supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump, it is also true that Biden’s predecessor did consistently acknowledge and commemorate the anniversary of the D-Day landings during his tenure.
While neither Biden himself nor the White House, as such, publicly commemorated the 77th anniversary of D-Day in 2021, Vice President Kamala Harris and first lady Jill Biden both did. In his speech at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 31, 2021, Biden briefly alluded to the D-Day landings, saying:
Here in Arlington lie heroes who gave what President Lincoln called “the last full measure of devotion.” They did not only die at Gettysburg or in Flanders Field or on the beaches of Normandy, but in the mountains of Afghanistan, the deserts of Iraq in the last 20 years.