On the heels of the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee passing two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Friday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) hightailed it out of Washington to lead yet another congressional delegation on a foreign trip.
This time, however, there appears to be a good and nonpartisan purpose for the excursion to Europe: she’s there to commemorate the 75th anniversary of World War II’s Battle of the Bulge, according to a press release from the speaker’s office.
“Acts of American heroism”
Set to return Monday, Pelosi and her 16-member “bipartisan” delegation — three of the members are Republicans — left Saturday for Belgium and Luxembourg to take part in a number of ceremonies remembering the critical battle that marked a final turning point in WWII.
The delegation was set to be joined at those events by veterans of the battle and their families, as well as active-duty service members, according to Pelosi’s office. The speaker’s group will also meet with a number of foreign leaders from nations that took part in the battle.
“As we mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, it is a great privilege to lead a distinguished bipartisan delegation to Belgium and Luxembourg to honor one of the greatest acts of American heroism in our nation’s history,” Pelosi said in a statement.
She went on: “We commemorate the courage of our servicemembers who braved weeks of bitter winter to secure the victory of freedom over tyranny, not only for Europe, but for all the world. Their service reminds us of our mission: to build a future worthy of their sacrifice.”
“You gave us back our liberty”
According to Luxembourg’s RTL Today, U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg J. Randolph Evans hosted Pelosi’s delegation and coordinated their participation in the various events over the weekend.
“It is an honor to host Speaker Pelosi and her delegation to Luxembourg. Their presence here to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge and engage with senior officials is a welcome reminder of the continued strong bond between Luxembourg and the United States,” Evans said.
Fernand Etgen, leader of Luxembourg’s Chamber of Deputies, also issued a statement in advance of the event.
“It is an honor to welcome a delegation of the House of Representative of the USA and their speaker, Ms. Nancy Pelosi, to Luxembourg,” Etgen said. “Luxembourg owes gratitude to America because you helped a small, independent country in World War II. However deep the snow, however dense the fog: you were there for us, you gave us back our liberty.”
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Battle of the Ardennes, occurred between Dec. 16, 1944, and Jan. 16, 1945, and earned its name due to the “bulge” that the last major offensive by the German Army created in Allied lines in an unsuccessful last-ditch effort to halt the Allied advance into German territory.
The German offensive, launched in the thickly wooded area of the Ardennes and under cover of terrible winter weather, nearly succeeded — and cost the Allied armies roughly 75,000 casualties — but the tenacious defense of Belgium’s Bastogne by the U.S. 101st Airborne and an eventual Allied counteroffensive turned the tide and forced the Germans to withdraw, at great loss of their own, back into their own territory.
And the rest is history.