62nd Anniversary of D-Day Observed on 6/6/2006  

TTigerAtty 62M
3769 posts
6/6/2006 2:12 pm

Last Read:
6/7/2006 8:00 am

62nd Anniversary of D-Day Observed on 6/6/2006

ASNELLES-SUR-MER, France (CP) - Veterans from Allied countries marked the 62nd anniversary of the D-Day landings Tuesday with ceremonies and talks to schoolchildren about the invasion that changed the course of the Second World War.

Hundreds of relatives and others joined at least two dozen veterans to remember the June 6, 1944, invasion on Normandy's beaches that helped free France - and much of Europe - from Nazi Germany's grip. About 1,000 people attended the official D-Day ceremony in Asnelles-sur-Mer, part of Gold Beach where British soldiers came ashore.

"It's a very special day in history, when the United States, with the British and the Canadians, outfoxed the Nazis," U.S. Ambassador Craig Stapleton said.

The site of the official anniversary alternates between the U.S. and British landing zones every year, Stapleton said.

French Veterans Minister Hamlaoui Mekachera called the invasion, which bore the code name Operation Overlord, one of the greatest events in history.

Speaking at the ceremony, he praised the "brothers-in-arms" from eight countries - the United States, Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Poland, the Netherlands and Norway - who died "to defend the cause of freedom."

In Ottawa, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement to "recall the thousands of brave Canadians who played their part in this historic event."

"They came from every part of Canada, from every walk of life, to risk their lives for freedom. Many would make that ultimate sacrifice," Harper said. "Let us never forget them, and let us never fail to defend their precious legacy."

The prime minister said more than 25,000 members of the Canadian Forces took part in D-Day, "the largest sea-borne invasion in history. Their courage and sacrifice played a major role in this successful operation."

Along with the Allies, "the Canadians endured many months of hard fighting that eventually led to final victory over Nazi Germany," Harper said.

According to Veteran Affairs Canada, the Allies suffered heavy casualties during the battle, including 18,444 Canadians "of whom 5,021 would never see their homes again."

Two years ago, hundreds of Canadian veterans gathered at Juno Beach, where they landed on D-Day, to mark the 60th anniversary and remember their lost comrades.

In the early morning on Tuesday, a few veterans from Britain's 231st Infantry Brigade went to Gold Beach to remember lost friends and talk to villagers and schoolchildren about their experiences.

"It's very moving to be here," said 87-year-old Ken Ewing. "To see this beach where many friends lost their lives gives me the chills and makes me think we should never forget; we must never forget."

A dozen schoolchildren read poems they wrote for the occasion. Children asked such questions as "Were you afraid?"

"I am very moved to be with them," said Laura Guyon, 11. "These older gentleman were crying when they were on the beach."

At Utah Beach, where thousands of Americans stormed ashore, about 150 people gathered for a ceremony to honour veterans from the 101st Airborne Division under blue skies.

"The weather wasn't like this 62 years ago," recalled Bill Thornan, 86, who landed on a nearby beach on D-Day and was among more than a dozen American veterans at the ceremony in Saint-Marie du Mont.

Others remembered how the airborne drop by the 101st went awry for some American parachutists: they landed behind German lines, but outside the planned drop zones.

"I remember insulting the pilot of our plane because he didn't drop us in the right area," recalled Jack Dickson, 83.

"I hope I'll be here next year to send this message to future generations: Never forget the horror of war - and never forget that men died on these Normandy beaches to free the world."

Smaller ceremonies were held along the Normandy coast.


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want2play926 45F

6/6/2006 4:02 pm

*keeping silent


micahbiguns 51M

6/6/2006 4:38 pm

Prayerful remembrances


Whispersoftly5 52F
15176 posts
6/6/2006 5:05 pm

Thank you for this post Tiger. Very important to remember and to be thankful.

Whisper...


TTigerAtty 62M

6/7/2006 8:00 am

Silence in prayerful remembrance is often our best response. Thanks for dropping by.


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