PRIME minister David Cameron has paid tribute to D-Day veterans ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion.
Mr Cameron met veterans, some of them from Portsmouth, on board HMS Belfast for a commemorative ceremony to remember the landings.
Five veterans of HMS Belfast attended the event, along with other D-Day veterans including Chelsea Pensioners and members of the Normandy Veterans Association.
Mr Cameron described Operation Overlord, which was planned in Portsmouth, as an ‘awe-inspiring feat of planning and human endeavour’, and added: ‘Seventy years on we look back on that day with pride and with gratitude.
‘That day marked a turning point in the war, the dawn of liberty in Europe and yes, the beginning of the end of fascism.
‘People don’t like to talk about good and evil very much anymore but that’s what this day was, a victory of good over evil.
‘And every single person in this country should be truly proud of the part that Britain played.’
The prime minister told the veterans: ‘You are the heroes that I read about in textbooks and history books at school.
‘As a boy I learned the names of those beaches. I was taught about this glorious chapter in our history.’
And he said that as a father, he wanted to make sure his children learned the same things.
‘I will teach them that the freedoms we enjoy weren’t just handed down, they were hard won,’ he added.
‘I will teach them that their generation and my generation owe your generation so much.’
The ceremony included a Dakota C-47 flypast.
The 70th anniversary of D-Day will be marked in Portsmouth this year with a number of events in the city.