June 6, 1984

Greetings to all of you, the officers and men of the U.S.S. Eisenhower. Believe me, all of us up here are inspired by the sight of your magnificent ship and the battle group which accompanied you to the coast of Normandy.

We're returning from a commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the D-day landing -- the heroic operation that was planned and commanded by General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The memory of "Ike,'' our great allied leader, still inspires heroic efforts on both sides of the Atlantic.

Today, as 40 years ago, our Navy and all of our Armed Forces are advancing the cause of peace and freedom. The dedication of you, our sailors and marines, particularly during your recent deployment in the Eastern Mediterranean, is in the highest tradition of the service.

The American people and our allies in Europe and beyond are all more secure because men of your caliber are on station when and where needed. Admiral Flatley, Captain Clexton, officers and men of the "Ike'' -- I salute you for your devoted service to the cause of freedom.

You know, I'm up here hoping that you've been able to hear me. I'll just say, God bless you all, and if it wouldn't be too demoralizing, wave, and I'll know whether you've heard this.

Thank you. Thank you all. Good sailing, and God bless you.

Note: The President spoke at 7:10 p.m. on board Marine One during the flight from Utah Beach, France, to London.

As printed above, this item follows the text of the White House press release.