70th Anniversary of D-Day: France will never forget
From June 5th to August 21st 2014, Normandy will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy with due splendor and emotion. This year’s anniversary will be a time of national and international contemplation and communion.
Traditionally, annual commemorations of the Landings of June 6th 1944 have always been major events for Basse-Normandie, all the more so on the occasions of quinquennial and decennial anniversaries, where the international aspect is especially prominent.
And because this will likely be the last decennial anniversary to take place in the presence of actors in and witnesses to those momentous events, it will be a particularly special occasion; welcoming a still large number of the remaining men and women who act as guardians of this “living memory” – probably for the last time and in celebration of a great anniversary – will indeed be cause for heartfelt emotion.
A number of American World War II veterans along with members of their family have expressed their wish to travel to France in 2014 to attend the ceremonies commemorating the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, the Allied Landing in Normandy on June 6, 1944.
Though plans are still developing, the following details should provide information useful to those who intend to visit or follow the commemorations:
- The major international ceremony celebrating D-Day, co-chaired by U.S. President Obama and French President Hollande, and involving other Heads of State from Allied countries, will take place on June 6, 2014, at Sword Beach, more precisely at Ouistreham, at 3:30PM.
- High-level bilateral ceremonies are also being planned by the French President in collaboration with the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
All three ceremonies should take place on the morning of June 6.
As far as the location where the French-American bilateral ceremony could be organized, the American organizers will soon decide where it will take place, possibly at Colleville-sur-mer Cemetery, very close to Omaha Beach, likely around 10:00AM.
For those who would like to attend one or more of those events, in particular veterans, the American Embassy in Paris has created an e-mail account specifically for that purpose: firstname.lastname@example.org
- In addition, there are a large number of events planned by the various cities and towns of Normandy, among them Sainte-Mère-Eglise, which was liberated by the Allied Forces.
On the same website, there is a page for veterans’ registration: http://www.the70th-normandy.com/espace-memoire/veterans/
The famous town of Sainte-Mère-Eglise is a good example of the cities’ initiatives dedicated to specific units or divisions: http://www.sainte-mere-eglise.info/anniversaire-debarquement-juin-2014.html
The Normandy official tourism website: http://www.normandie-tourisme.fr/70eme-anniversaire-de-la-bataille-de-normandie/70eme-anniversaire-de-la-bataille-de-normandie-les-evenements-855-1.html
Article published April 8, 2014.