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Our debt to you is ever lasting. Today we express our undying gratitude. When you were young, these men enlisted their lives in a great crusade. One of the greatest of all times. Their mission is the story of an epic battle and the ferocious eternal struggle between good and evil. On 6 June1944, they

Our debt to you is ever lasting. Today we express our undying gratitude. When you were young, these men enlisted their lives in a great crusade. One of the greatest of all times. Their mission is the story of an epic battle and the ferocious eternal struggle between good and evil.

On 6 June1944, they joined a liberation force of awesome power and breath-taking scale. After months of planning, the Allies had chosen this ancient coastline to mount their campaign to vanquish the wicked tyranny of the Nazi empire from the face of the earth.

The battle began in the skies above us, in those first tense midnight hours, 1,000 aircraft roared overhead with 17,000 Allied airborne troops preparing to leap into the darkness beyond these trees. Then came dawn. The enemy, who had occupied these heights, saw the largest naval armada in the history of the world. Just a few miles offshore were 7,000 vessels bearing 130,000 warriors. They were the citizens of free and independent nations united by their duty to their compatriots into millions yet unborn. There were the British, whose nobility and fortitude saw them through the worst of Dunkirk and the London Blitz, the full violence of Nazi fury was no match for the full grandeur of British pride.

There were the Canadians whose robust sense of honour and loyalty compelled them to take up arms alongside Britain from the very, very beginning. There were the fighting Poles, the tough Norwegians and the intrepid Aussies. There were the gallant French commandos, soon to be met by thousands of their brave countrymen ready to write a new chapter in the long history of French valour.

Finally, there were the Americans. They came from the farms of a vast heartland, the streets of glowing cities and the forges of mighty industrial towns.



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Susan E. Lopez
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