A powerfulmonument tohonour ourD-Day heroes

What a fantastic idea to honour the heroes of D-Day with a huge new memorial in Southsea.

Saturday, 26th May 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:51 am

The newly-revamped D-Day Story in Southsea intends to immortalise the names of as many as 10,000 heroes who served during the Normandy invasion, a major turning point of the war, on June 6, 1944.

It will be a powerful, poignant and fitting tribute to their courage and sacrifice, and remind the world of the vital role the Portsmouth area and its people played in the D-Day landings.

The D-Day stone near South Parade Pier, while historically significant, is visually underwhelming, mimicking the thousands of concrete blocks put around the coast as an invasion defence.

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Anyone who has visited the National Memorial Arboretum near Lichfield in Staffordshire, or indeed, stood before any wartime memorial, will understand the stark resonance of seeing thousands of names carved in stone.

It provides an immediate connection with the people behind the event, and underlines the sacrifices made.

Hopes that the planned D-Day memorial in Southsea will become a site of international importance are fully justified.

As museum trustee Tim Rusby said: ‘While we are sadly losing D-Day veterans from our communities, through initiatives like the Normandy Memorial Wall we have the chance to capture their memory and the unthinkable contributions they made to their nation forever.’

And the method of funding is imaginative, if not unprecedented. Many previous monuments, after all, were paid for by public subscription.

We hope the D-Day Story’s plans gain widespread support so that future generations will never forget the debt they owe to the soldiers, sailors and airmen who sacrificed so much on The Longest Day.