Today marks 76 years since the Allies launched the daring Operation Overlord, the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe.
Veterans have commemorated nearly every year since. Unfortunately, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic means that they won’t have the chance to step onto the sand again this year.
Instead, a small group of dignitaries will mark the D-Day landings with a short ceremony and a fly-past by the French Air Force’s air acrobatic team.
Both will be live-streamed on this website, which also features some additional fascinating content for veterans and WWII buffs alike — including testimonials from those who fought in the battle, and representatives from the military forces of some of the Allied nations.
In the Normandy region itself, church bells will ring out at 6:44 p.m. today.
Local councils have encouraged people living in the area to decorate their homes with Allied flags.
Ian Stewart from the Spirit Of Normandy Trust, which raises funds to provide financial support for D-Day veterans, said:
“It’s very sad, and the French are equally saddened by the fact we cannot be there. Nobody takes any pleasure from the restrictions.
“Every year counts. Last year, the 75th anniversary, was a bonus. The men are now all in their late 90s and they are struggling on.”
Don’t forget to tune in, to show appreciation for the courage and sacrifice of all those who fought on D-Day.
D-Day In Numbers
D-Day was the largest military operation in human history. Just a few of the staggering numbers involved put it into perspective:
- 18,000 troops paratroopers dropped into the invasion area shortly after midnight on June 6, 1944
- Allied air forces flew more than 14,000 missions in support of the landings
- Nearly 7,000 naval vessels took part, including everything from landing craft to battleships and destroyers
- More than 150,000 troops landed on the five designated beaches (Juno, Sword, Gold, Utah and Omaha)
- Troops from a number of countries took part (including the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia*, the Netherlands, France, Greece, New Zealand, Norway, Rhodesia** and Poland)
*Now the Czech Republic/Slovakia
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