About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for The True Glory (D-day)

McGowan Theater, National Archives Building, Washington, DC
June 6, 2019 

Good evening, and welcome to the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and I’m pleased you could join us to view the film The True Glory with our special guest Chuck Hagel.

Tonight’s screening is presented in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-day, June 6, 1944, and is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of The Boeing Company. We thank them for their support.

Before we start the film, I’d like to let you know about two other programs coming up soon in this theater.

On Thursday, June 13 at noon, author Tammy R. Vigil will be here to discuss and sign her latest book, Moms in Chief: The Rhetoric of Republican Motherhood and the Spouses of Presidential Nominees, 1992–2016, which explores the function of spouses in recent political campaigns.

Then, that evening at 7 p.m., we will partner with the United States Association of Former Members of Congress, the 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative, and the National Women’s History Alliance to present a panel discussion, “The Female Candidate for Office: Challenges and Hurdles.” Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri will moderate the discussion, which will include Ann Lewis, former White House Director of Communications, and former members of Congress Donna Edwards, Barbara Comstock, and Connie Morella.

Both of these programs are presented in conjunction with our exhibit, Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote, upstairs in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery.

Check our website, Archives.gov, or sign up at the table outside the theater to get email updates. You’ll also find information about other National Archives programs and activities.

Another way to get more involved with the National Archives is to become a member of the National Archives Foundation. The Foundation supports the work of the agency, especially its education and outreach programs. Check out their website—archivesfoundation.org—to learn more about them and join online.

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On June 6, 1944, Allied forces launched the greatest amphibious invasion the world has ever seen. The historic D-day invasion of Normandy, France, was a turning point in World War II, but it was just the initial assault in a massive operation that liberated Western Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany, on May 7, 1945.

The True Glory, a joint production of the U.S. Office of War Information and the British Ministry of Information, is the epic filmed record of the June 6, 1944, invasion of Normandy and the Allied push across Europe. The National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab in College Park, Maryland, digitally restored the film in 2014 for the 70th anniversary, and that is the version we will be seeing tonight.

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And now it’s my honor to introduce our special guest, Chuck Hagel, who will deliver keynote remarks before we start tonight’s film.

Chuck Hagel served as the 24th Secretary of Defense from 2013 to 2015. He is the only Vietnam veteran and enlisted combat veteran to have served as Secretary of Defense. He represented the state of Nebraska in the U.S. Senate for two terms from 1997 to 2009. In the Senate, Secretary Hagel was a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Intelligence Committees. Previously, Secretary Hagel was co-chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration, a Distinguished Professor at Georgetown University, chairman of the Atlantic Council, chairman of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Advisory Committee, co-chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Corporate Council, president and CEO of the World USO, Private Sector Council. He is a senior adviser to Gallup and Distinguished Statesman at the Atlantic Council and currently serves on the RAND Board of Trustees, PBS Board, Corsair Capital Advisory Board, and American Security Project Board.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Chuck Hagel.