‘Respect and dignity’ is needed for D-Day anniversary events

VETERAN Les Edwards
VETERAN Les Edwards
Copperfields Hair Studio, on Hayling Avenue in Baffins. Picture: Google Street View PPP-171118-153719001

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TO invite the President of the USA to Portsmouth to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day would be a grave mistake.

Some 20 or so FBI bodyguards in 12 blacked-out limousines, one four-ton armoured motor car, with 16 motor cycle outriders would create complete chaos in our city.

The Prime Minister, admirals, generals, RAF top brass and hundreds of hangers-on would descend on our fair city.

The 70th anniversary on June 6 should be remembered with respect and dignity. The band of HM Majesty’s Royal Marines should play their lovely music on the common.

A Royal Marine Trumpeter should play the Last Post and an individual from one of the services should approach the microphone and deliver the famous lines: ‘They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old, age shall not weary them nor the years condemn’, and so on.

We know something about D-Day because we were the first soldiers to land on the beach in a 40-ton Churchill Tank at La Riviere at 7am.

Every June 6 I stand quietly to remember all my friends who died on that day.

Many service personnel and civilians of that time are still alive today and we who grow old remember with great affection those brave souls we respect and admire.

Past editions of The News describe in detail the experiences of many individuals who were there on D-Day.

Today six or so veterans give up their time to quietly explain their memories to the interested visitors to the D-Day Museum at Southsea.

These veterans probably do not want an American style gathering, they just want to convey their respect in their own terms.