In Portsmouth today remembrance was paid to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings when over 150,000 mainly British, US and Canadian servicemen landed on the beaches of Normandy, a momentous invasion which many historians describe as leading to the end of the Second World War.
Queen Elizabeth II praised the heroism of all those that had participated and thanked them all on behalf of the free world.
D-Day was the largest ever sea, land and air invasions launched and paved the way for the end of WWII and the freeing of Western Europe from the Nazi regime.
One of the few surviving participants in the invasion in the allied invasion against Nazi-occupied France is Frank Devita who in an emotional manner recalled the pools of blood on the Normandy beaches.
“I was full of blood and vomit and I didn’t want to be with anybody, so I went to the stern of the ship by myself and I sat down and I started telling myself: ‘What the hell just happened here?’ and I tried to put things together,” recalled Frank Devita.
Most of the forces which left Portsmouth on the dawn of 6th June in 1944 to begin the invasion have passed away but a remaining 300 gathered in this English port renowned for its naval connections to meet Queen Elizabeth and American President Donald Trump.
“The wartime generation, my generation, is resilient and I’m delighted to be with you in Portsmouth today,” said Queen Elizabeth.
During the official ceremony, in the presence of a number of leaders and dignitaries, Queen Elizabeth said those who had formed part of the invasion had great courage and perseverance and had achieved in saving the future and the free world as we know it today.
“Heroism, courage and sacrifice of those who lost their lives will never be forgotten. It is with humility and pleasure on behalf of the entire country, indeed the whole free world, that I say to you all; thank you,” said the Queen.
The leaders present agreed to a joint declaration that nobody should have to live through the same indescribable terror of war.
One of the events in Normandy was that of 300 parachutists. These included American Tom Rice who is 97 years old.