The American Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives, was in Bastogne in the Ardennes this weekend to pay tribute to those who fought and gave their lives in the ultimate campaign of the Second World War, clearing the way after the Normandy landings for a full-on attack on Berlin which would bring the war to an end.
The battle of Bastogne was the last offensive of the German army before the Allies pushed through to Berlin and brought an end to the war. It was launched 75 years ago on Monday, in the middle of winter, with the losses one would expect.
Pelosi, currently tied up in her own parliament with the impeachment of US president Donald Trump. Was at the head of a delegation of US representatives from Democratic and Republican parties.
“We are here to commemorate the courage of our soldiers, who braved the tough weeks of winter to ensure the victory of liberty over tyranny, not only for Europe, but for the whole world,” she said. “Their service reminds us of our own mission: to create a future worthy of their sacrifice. It was very important for me to come to represent the United States, but also to thank the veterans, whether they be Belgian, European or American. Our own veterans are proud of their mission, and they know the importance of the Battle of the Ardennes.
“My uncle lost his life in this region, just before the battle started,” she went on. “there are many of us who lost a family member in the Second World War, and some members of our delegation have family members who fought here. We are all directly and personally linked to this piece of history.”