To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing, Queen Elizabeth II will join Prime Minster Theresa May, world leaders and WWII veterans to honor the Allied soldiers who risked and gave their lives to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany
Britain promised “unprecedented commemorations” in Portsmouth. Testimony from some of the more than 300 World War II veterans expected there and “one of the greatest British military spectacles in recent years” featuring a flyby of 24 vintage and modern military aircraft on the schedule.
However, the heart of the event is a tribute to the soldiers who risked everything to reach beachheads and fight in German-occupied France.
“The Normandy landings 75 years ago were a moment of historic international cooperation,” May said. “And it is right that at the heart of today’s commemorations are the veterans who fought to secure the liberty and the peace that we now enjoy.”
World leaders planning to attend include presidents, prime ministers and other representatives of tcountries that fought alongside Britain: including the United States, Canada, Australia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Denmark, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Poland.
Invited guests plan to read from historical D-Day documents, which will see Theresa May read a letter written by Capt. Norman Skinner of the Royal Army Service Corps to his wife, Gladys, on June 3, 1944, a few days before the invasion. It was in his pocket when he landed in Normandy.
“I can imagine you in the garden having tea with Janey and Anne getting ready to put them to bed,” wrote Skinner, who was killed the day after D-Day. “Although I would give anything to be back with you, I have not yet had any wish at all to back down from the job we have to do.”
The ceremonies will conclude President Donald Trump’s state visit to Britain before he moves on to visit Ireland. Queen Elizabeth will be joined on the day by Prince Charles.
Read more: WWII visits