Posted on Jun 06, 2021
A memorial honouring soldiers who died under British command on D-Day has been unveiled in France on the 77th anniversary of the Normandy landings.
The British Normandy Memorial records the names of the 22,442 people who were killed on D-Day and at the Battle of Normandy.
It cost £30m and was designed by British architect Liam O'Connor.
Due to Covid restrictions, veterans watched the unveiling via video link.
Only a small number of people were able to attend the event in the Normandy town of Ver-sur-Mer, where the memorial is situated.
Around 100 veterans unable to travel to Normandy watched a live broadcast from the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
At 11:00 BST the Last Post was played, ushering in a two-minute silence.
Meanwhile, British and French wreaths were placed in front of the D-Day Wall at the memorial in France as bagpipes played.
The RAF's Red Arrows then flew overhead in formation to mark the opening of the memorial.
It remembers those who died in the largest seaborne invasion in history, as about 160,000 troops from Britain, the US, Canada, France and other Allied nations landed in Normandy.
This marked the beginning the liberation of France from the Nazis and paved the way for victory on the Western Front in World War Two.
Paul Harris said his grandfather, Private George Hanks, who died aged 30 on 7 August 1944 during the months of fighting that followed the D-Day landings, "gave up everything" to liberate Normandy and the rest of Europe.
Mr Harris told BBC Breakfast: "He went off to fight, he left my grandmother a widow with a young baby... He gave us what we have now and that memory has to be preserved."
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