D-Day 79: International Ceremony At Memorial For First Time

The British Normandy Memorial, which officially opened in June 2021, will for the first time play host to the annual International Ceremony marking the 79th anniversary of D-Day. The Memorial remembers the 22,442 servicemen and women from 38 different countries who died under British command on D-Day and during the Battle of Normandy in the summer of 1944.

In the morning, the Royal British Legion’s Service of Remembrance will take place. This small but significant ceremony will recognise the sacrifice of the troops who died under British Command on 6 June 1944 and throughout the Battle of Normandy, and will be attended by Normandy Veterans. Both of these events, as well as the the Youth Ceremony (on 5 June) are open to the public on a first come first served basis.

For details on attending the International Ceremony and other commemorative events please see HERE.

Organised by the Comité du Débarquement, the International Ceremony hosts representatives from the nine principal Allied nations (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Poland, Norway and the United States of America) as well as Germany. The service includes speeches from the representatives, the raising of each Allied flag in turn, and music from a French military band.

Last year, the Ceremony took place in Bernières-sur-Mer in the Canadian sector.

Stan Ford, Normandy Veteran and Memorial Ambassador, said:

“I am delighted that this year the international ceremony is being held at the British Normandy Memorial. I look forward to taking part in the ceremony, paying tribute to the many thousands of servicemen and women who died under British command, and those from the other Allied Nations and Germany. It will be a truly poignant moment to remember and reflect together surrounded by the engraved names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”

This year’s anniversary will also be the first time that the Veterans, families of the fallen and many dignitaries will have the opportunity to see the newest addition to the Memorial site: The Queen Elizabeth II Avenue.

The planting of 70 trees, a gift offered by President Macron for Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee last June, took place on Wednesday 11 January at the site of the British Normandy Memorial.

The gift now stands as a marker of the Queen’s remarkable reign, in her memory, and as a sign of the significant relationship between the UK and France.

For details on attending the International Ceremony and other commemorative events open to the public please see HERE.


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