No one understood the significance of the commemoration of D-day better than Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel. In what probably will be remembered as the speech of his lifetime President Hollande of France managed to bring the significance of the event for present day geo-politics to the surface. Merkel did what nobody else could do, bridge Russia and Ukraine.
Trying hard to find Hollande's speech I tried in vain the day after the event. That this footage was not available right after the event may quite well be a result of the previous row about the live broadcasting rights as the Guardian reported days before the event.*
Searching for Obama's address I immediately hit home. It seems to me that other world leaders were not so pleased with the French presidents performance during the live broadcast that went all over the world. They were merely figurants at the ceremony that commemorated D-Day and clearly had a French host. It seems some corrective measures were taken afterwards with almost no coverage to be found on the internet of the speech of Hollande*. Like in big conferences, several side-events went on to allow all dignatories to give themselves a 'stage'. The French host nation was dispersed joining several events simultaneously. These coverages can be found all over the place in various national news channels. And what Russia Today reported on was Obama's eye warfare with Putin.
Future will tell us whether Hollande and Merkel possibly saved the world from a third World War as both ably manouvred the stage showing great diplomatic skills and geo-political sensitivity. Behind the scenes Putin and Obama exchanged a few words, though I had the impression that the initiative of the American President was not much appreciated by his Russian counterpart., which I can imagine given the first performance on stage. Mrs. Merkel did much better instead, getting Russia and Ukraine to talk to each other on stage. Possibly the best thing she could do in what also has been referred to as D-Day Diplomacy.
*) The speech of Hollande and the full broadcast of the day can be found at C-SPAN
President Obama and President Putin making eye contact and Obama turning Putin his back. Not the best bid at D-day.
My name is Reinier van Hoffen.
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Also find the text of a lecture Dr. Achterhuis held at the 2012 Bilderberg conference.