Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of D-Day: Veterans Gather at Southwick House

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Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of D-Day: Veterans Gather at Southwick House

Dozens of veterans who participated in the historic Normandy Landings during World War II assembled today at Southwick House, Hampshire, to kick off a week of events commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Commemorating The 80th Anniversary Of D-Day: Veterans Gather At Southwick House

Southwick House, a Grade II-listed Georgian mansion, holds a significant place in history as the nerve center of D-Day operations. It served as the Allies’ forward headquarters for the beach landing operations that changed the course of the war. Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower and Commander of the Allied Ground Forces General Bernard Montgomery made the monumental decision to launch D-Day from this very location.

Commemorating The 80th Anniversary Of D-Day: Veterans Gather At Southwick House

Commemorating The 80th Anniversary Of D-day: Veterans Gather At Southwick House

The veterans, some of whom are unable to travel to Normandy due to health reasons, gathered for afternoon tea and a formal dinner in the Map Room—a space that witnessed the fateful order to invade Normandy. This meeting is believed to be the largest gathering of surviving D-Day veterans this year.

Commemorating The 80th Anniversary Of D-Day: Veterans Gather At Southwick House

While some veterans will journey to Normandy on Tuesday morning, others will remain in the UK to participate in the national commemorative event scheduled for Wednesday in Portsmouth. The city of Portsmouth will host the Ministry of Defence’s event on Southsea Common, featuring appearances by members of the royal family, military musicians, and a flypast by the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows. The event will be broadcast live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Commemorating The 80th Anniversary Of D-Day: Veterans Gather At Southwick House

The commemorations extend beyond the UK. On Wednesday evening, Normandy will witness a moving vigil and light show at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Bayeux War Cemetery.

Commemorating The 80th Anniversary Of D-Day: Veterans Gather At Southwick House

Southwick House, still a working military base, currently houses the Defence School of Policing and Security. As we approach the actual anniversary date on June 6, the Ministry of Defence and the Royal British Legion will host the UK’s national commemorative event at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer, France.

Commemorating The 80th Anniversary Of D-Day: Veterans Gather At Southwick House

The legacy of D-Day lives on, and these veterans, who once stood on the precipice of history, continue to inspire us with their courage and sacrifice. Let us honour their service and remember the pivotal moments that shaped our world.

Commemorating The 80th Anniversary Of D-Day: Veterans Gather At Southwick House

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