Pope Hails Those Who Fought for Freedom at D-Day

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 7, 2004 (Zenit.org).- In a letter, John Paul II hailed the “great merits” of those who fought for freedom 60 years ago in the invasion of Normandy and stressed the need to learn from history.

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The letter, signed at the Pope’s request by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, was addressed to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, who attended the commemoration with heads of state that took place Sunday in France.

Vatican Radio revealed some parts of the letter and said the Holy Father mentioned the merits of those “who battled for the freedom of nations.”

The memory of “so many victims” and so much “suffering” caused by “the tragic world conflict,” must lead men of good will, together with leaders of nations and representatives of civil and military associations, to journey on “paths of peace,” the letter said.

To achieve this, the letter said, it is necessary to foster in hearts “sentiments of forgiveness, fraternity and solidarity” in order to construct a social life based “on moral and spiritual values.”

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