Britain vows to always remember D-Day 80 years later

PORTSMOUTH/SAINT-LO, England (Reuters) – Britain paid homage on Wednesday to the soldiers who participated in D-Day and promised to “always recall” the sacrifices of the Allied troops who invaded France via sea and air.

The British ceremony, which included guests waving British Flags, veterans reading and reminiscing, and Queen Camilla crying, took place at Portsmouth, the departure point of the 5,000 ships heading to Normandy on June 6, 1944.

King Charles spoke about the amphibious operation that was the largest in history. “Today, we gather to honor the nearly 160,000 British Commonwealth and Allied soldiers who assembled on these shores and here on 5th of June 1944 to embark on a mission which would strike the blow for freedom,” he said.

“As we thank all those who sacrificed so much for the victory whose fruits we enjoy today, let us once more commit ourselves to always remember, cherish, and honour those that served on that day, and to live up the freedom for which they died.”

Around 4,400 Allied soldiers died on D-Day.

Prince William said, “We will never forget those who served or those who waved off those who did.” “The mothers, fathers, siblings, sons, and daughters who watched as their loved ones went into battle, not knowing if they’d ever return,” Prince William said.

A letter from a soldier who was killed the day following D-Day to his wife, written in an emotional tone, was read.

Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, read out General Bernard Montgomery’s message, the commander of all Allied forces at D-Day. This was sent to all troops before the invasion.

In France, where the main ceremony will be held on Thursday, with world leaders such as U.S. president Joe Biden and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, you can see thousands of tourists visiting World War Two Cemeteries and the D-Day beaches.

The buildings were decorated with flags of the U.S.A., Canada, British, and French.

It’s important to remember this sacrifice, said Daniel Reeves (27), a British tourist visiting the U.S. War Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer this week.

Karen Swinger, a British visitor, said it was “absolutely incredible and extremely emotional” when the veterans say, “Thank you, my friend.”

Emmanuel Macron will attend a commemoration in Saint-Lo in Normandy. The town was nearly destroyed by Allied bombings during D-Day, and the Battle of Normandy.

Emmanuelle Lejeune told Reuters that “this trauma transformed our city into a ‘capital in ruins’ as Samuel Beckett described it.” At the time, 90% of the city’s 12,000 residents were destroyed.

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