More than 100 Normandy veterans have gathered to watch the opening of a memorial dedicated to those who attended the D-Day landing 77 years ago.
The British Normandy Memorial records the names of the 22,442 soldiers and soldiers under British command who died during the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy in the summer of 1944.
Designed by British architect Liam O’Connor, the structure was built in Ver-sur-Mer, France and its opening will be streamed live to those unable to attend due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Veterans and their families gathered at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on Sunday to watch the event from a distance and celebrate the 77th anniversary of the D-Day landing.
Shortly after 11 a.m., the Red Arrows flew by.
Royal British Legion’s Assistant Director of Remembrance Services, Bob Gamble, said: “D-Day remains one of the most notable Allied war operations in history and it is our great privilege to have brought so many of our Normandy veterans and their families with us. “Together to celebrate the 77th anniversary of the landing.
“It is still important for us to remember and pay tribute to the immense courage and sacrifice of all who served and fell during the Battle of Normandy.”
Costing nearly £ 30 million and funded by the British government and private benefactors, the memorial stands on a hill overlooking Gold Beach, one of three where British troops landed on the morning of June 6, 1944 to help with the liberation Western Europe to begin.
The memorial shows the D-Day sculpture by British sculptor David Williams-Ellis, the D-Day wall with the names of those who fell on D-Day itself, and the names of others who lost their lives on 160 stone pillars lost D-Day and the liberation of Paris at the end of August 1944.
The site also includes a French memorial dedicated to the memory of French civilians who died during this time.
The Prince of Wales has emphasized the importance of keeping the memory of the more than 22,000 “notable people” remembered at the British Normandy Memorial.
Designed by British architect Liam O’Connor, the memorial lists the names of the 22,442 soldiers and soldiers under British command who fell on D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.
On the 77th anniversary of the landing, the Ver-sur-Mer memorial officially opened while veterans unable to travel to Normandy due to Covid-19 travel restrictions could watch from the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
Charles, patron of the Normandy Memorial Trust, said he wanted to travel to France and spoke of his pride in opening the “remarkable” memorial.
In a video message he said: “I wanted to address my first statements particularly directly to those whose presence is really most important today, in person or online.
“I know how much our incomparable veterans had hoped to be in Normandy today to see their memorial with their own eyes.
“Although we have to watch via satellite, it will in no way cover up the tremendous appreciation and admiration we have for our veterans, or our thanks to the more than 22,000 men and women whose names are now permanently set in stone, this place of honor above from Gold Beach. “