D-Day 80: Lord Richard Dannatt's Video Message

Having entered the 80th anniversary year of D-Day, Lord Richard Dannatt, Chair of the Normandy Memorial Trust, has recorded a message from the Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer.

Lord Dannatt was present for the ‘breaking of ground’ moment marking the official start of the construction of the Winston Churchill Centre for Education and Learning.

The transcript of this video is available below the player.

2024 will be an important year for us. It’s the year of the 80th anniversary of D-Day, a more than usually poignant anniversary, particularly for our remaining Normandy Veterans. The British national commemoration of the 80th anniversary will take place here at the British Normandy Memorial on 6th June.

I wish I could share details of the day with you, but they have still to be decided by the British and French authorities. It’s clear however that with Heads of State attending the various ceremonies, security will be very tight and movement will be very restricted. As soon as we have details we will share them with you.

The other reason why this year is particularly important to the Trust is that we’ve begun the construction of an education and visitor centre on the memorial campus. It will be known as ‘The Winston Churchill Centre for Education and Learning’ and we plan to have it ready for an official opening on 6th June. It will fulfil the ambition, shared by so many Normandy Veterans and the Trust, to ensure that the generations of the future understand what happened here on the Normandy beaches and the price that was paid by so many to restore Western Europe’s freedoms. We’re grateful to all those, including the Centre’s ‘principal sponsor’, BAE Systems, who’ve supported the construction of the Centre.

And, once again, thank you to you – to our many supporters. Finding the money to maintain the memorial continues to be a challenge so if you’ve already joined our ‘Guardians’ scheme, thank you! If you haven’t, please consider doing so. Finally, we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at some point during this important, 80th anniversary year.


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