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D-Day 78 at the British Normandy Memorial

Yesterday, the 78th anniversary of D-Day, the Memorial was for the first time the focal point of the commemorations in Normandy, as Veterans, families of the fallen and the general public were able to come together to remember and reflect.

Following the raising of the Union Jack and laying of wreaths at sunrise, just as the first troops would have been arriving ashore 78 years ago, a poignant morning service took place.

The ceremony was attended by D-Day Veteran and Trust Ambassador Joe Cattini, aged 99, the British Ambassador to France Menna Rawlings, and Honorary President of the Trust, Lord Ricketts, among others.

Throughout the day, visitors came to pay their respects to the fallen 22,442 servicemen and women whose names are engraved on the Memorial, and in the evening, The Band of the Yorkshire Regiment and the Jedburgh Pipe Band performed a concert.

6 June 1944 marked the beginning of the liberation of Western Europe and the restoration of peace and freedom.

Up until 31 August, the Trust will recount the Battle of Normandy through a series of personal stories of sacrifice. We will showcase a selection of stories shared by relatives of those commemorated on the Memorial. Each reflects a different aspect of the war and the impact it had on families back home.

Help the Trust guarantee the maintenance of the British Normandy Memorial with a regular donation and through it the continued remembrance of the 22,442 men and women whose names are inscribed on it.

If you have a story about someone commemorated on the Memorial, do get in touch via You can check the Roll of Honour of the 22,442 here. The Guardian programme is championed by Normandy Veteran Patron, George Batts MBE and is also very much part of Harry Billinge's legacy.

For this article in pdf and more images, please click here:

D-Day 78 at the British Normandy Memorial
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