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Second World War: King Charles on D-Day: “We are forever in their debt”

Second World War: King Charles on D-Day: “We are forever in their debt”

80 years ago, Allied soldiers began landing in Normandy, an important step in the liberation of Europe. At a commemoration ceremony, it becomes very quiet when King Charles begins to speak.

With a moving memorial service, Great Britain remembered the soldiers who set off for Normandy 80 years ago during the Second World War. “We are forever in their debt,” said King Charles III in Portsmouth, southern England. On June 5, 1944, almost 160,000 men gathered there and along the coast to set off on their mission.

The stories of their courage, resilience and solidarity are a reminder of what is owed to this wartime generation, said the monarch, whose words drew a deep silence from the audience. “It is our duty to ensure that we and future generations do not forget their service and their sacrifice to replace tyranny with freedom.”

Dangerous operations on the beaches

The Allies and their soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. The so-called D-Day marked the beginning of the liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany from the West.

The Allied forces at the time consisted mainly of Americans, Britons, Canadians, Poles and French. In addition to US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky are expected in France tomorrow to mark the anniversary.

Charles’ first trip abroad since cancer diagnosis

King Charles also wanted to travel to France with his wife Queen Camilla and heir to the throne Prince William. It will be his first official trip abroad since his cancer diagnosis. In Portsmouth he also gave a major speech for the first time. At the memorial event, the British remembered the veterans with pictures, letters and video recordings, some of whom attended in person.

Military aircraft flew over the site and military personnel marched onto the stage. The audience waved Union Jack flags that had been distributed. One of the old photos on the screen showed soldiers fighting their way through the water with rifles. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Prince William and actress Helen Mirren took part in the commemoration.

Veteran takes stage with great-granddaughters

Veteran Eric Bateman entered the stage with two great-granddaughters. Bateman talked about the many ships that could be seen at that time. “You could almost walk across the English Channel,” he said. “I’m lucky to be here 80 years later.” He remembered the soldiers who died during the war. The two girls thanked him for his efforts: “We will never forget it.” Scenes like this touched many in the audience. Photos also showed the royal couple visibly moved.

The British news agency PA reported that several veterans sang along to the song “We’ll Meet Again”, which was released in 1939. Many of them have given interviews in recent weeks and have told their stories over and over again, even though they are around 100 years old. This year’s commemorations could be the last for a major D-Day anniversary that many of them will still experience.

Source: Stern

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