Posted on June 6, 2019
World leaders, royalty and hundreds of veterans have honoured those who fought in the D-Day landings 75 years ago during a national commemoration ceremony.
The Queen was among those at the D-Day commemorations in Portsmouth, marking the 75th anniversary of the Second World War campaign. British Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump, along 300 veterans gathered in Portsmouth to mark the forthcoming anniversary.
Some 60,000 members of the public attended the Portsmouth Naval Memorial on Southsea Common for the event which marks the 75th anniversary of the biggest amphibious invasion in military history.
The Queen thanked all those who fought for their “heroism, courage and sacrifice of those who lost their lives. “Seventy-five years ago, hundreds of thousands of young soldiers, sailors and airmen left these shores in the cause of freedom,” the Queen said. “In a broadcast to the nation at that time, my Father, King George VI, said: ‘What is demanded from us all is something more than courage and endurance; we need a revival of spirit, a new unconquerable resolve. That is exactly what those brave men brought to the battle, as the fate of the world depended on their success.”
Considered a turning point in the Second World War, Operation Overlord saw thousands killed and injured after it launched on 6 June 1944.
World leaders representing the Allied nations who took part in the D-Day landings also attended, including French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau. Other guests included Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Prime Minister Charles Michel from Belgium, the Czech Republic’s Prime Minister Andrej Babis and President Prokopis Pavlopoulos from Greece. Chancellor Angela Merkel represented Germany.
The PM of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel also attended, as did his counterparts from the Netherlands Mark Rutte, Norway’s Erna Solberg, Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki and Slovakia’s deputy prime minister Richard Rasi. They all met the Queen before the event began and then posed for a group photograph with the monarch and Prince of Wales.
Mrs May is making her final official appearances as the British Prime Minister during the D-Day commemorations which continue on Thursday across Normandy. At the event, the Prime Minister called for continued Western unity in tackling “new and evolving security threats” as she commemorated the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The event is the first time the UK has hosted this many world leaders outside a formal summit since the 2012 Olympics.
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