As D-Day anniversary approaches, Joe Biden  faces a world once again plunged into conflict

As D-Day anniversary approaches, Joe Biden  faces a world once again plunged into conflict

President Joe Biden was influenced by the events of World War II, from Pearl Harbor to Normandy. They shaped his role as a statesman.

Joe Biden was born on November 20, 1942, the war in Europe had already been raging for three years.

boy from Scranton, Pennsylvania, was just a baby when Allied forces descended on France by air, land and sea in an extraordinary show of military might. Before it was over, the United States had sent more than 16 million soldiers (about one-third of all combat-fit soldiers) to fight the Nazis, built the world's largest weapons stockpile, and liberated concentration camps where millions of Jews faced complete annihilation.

generation grew up hearing stories of brave men who fought across the Atlantic and faced death, some like his uncle, Ambrose J. Finnegan, who went missing somewhere off the north coast of New Guinea.

in the name of freedom. Throughout his life, Biden's view of the world and America was shaped by the events of World War II and the heroism of those now known as the "Greatest Generation."

him and other Americans of a certain age, World War II served as a collective moral compass, defining what the nation could and should be. America's role in the war is deeply ingrained in the national psyche and is still celebrated in books, films, and events such as the ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day in France this week.

are all products of our environment, we are products of our education," said former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, who sat next to Biden in the Senate. "President Biden is no different from the rest of us. His perception of the world, and especially of foreign policy -- the responsibilities of government and leaders -- was strongly shaped by postwar Europe."