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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 155

Date:- 12 June 2004

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Photographs and Report By Patrick Trollope

LIVERPOOL on June 6 joined the rest of the UK in marking the 60 anniversaries of the Normandy Beach Landings. 

Many young lives were lost and as a mark of respect after a simple ceremony and wreathe laying session our side St Georges Hall a special plaque was unveiled to thanks to the many who lost their lives in what was the turning point in the Second World War. 

Speaking to some of the veterans I felt very humbled, as they did not show much emotion at what will probably by one of the few remaining years that the service will take place with them attending. 

One of the many who joined the service was a Canadian Merchant Navy representative who said:- "I am here to show my respects to fellow seaman and to our friends who we left behind on that day. It was not just a war of military victims, but a war that affected every one. 

We as the younger generation will never know, I hope, what they had to do and the sacrifices they made to give us the opportunity to live in a world that in the main, we are free to speak and do what we want." 

Personally I was surprised that some of the ex-serviceman who I photographed asked me to say that they were not involved in Normandy Beach Landings and were fighting on other places during the landings.

Perhaps there was an element of shame to be shared that a generation that despite saving the world from a great enemy, emoted the barbarity of the war and the sacrifices that were made by a generation at discontent or even they were too honest to admit their heroism and accept their deserved recognition. 

Although something we all share is the respect for the Normandy Veterans and the great debt we owe. The camaraderie among them despite the years waning away in the twilight of their lives is amazing. 

One survivor of D-Day said:- "We do not want to take the credit form the real heroes of the hour. We all suffered, but for the lads who were on the beaches, it must have been a living hell." 

For many others, and me, no matter where they were fighting during that day, they all played a huge part in keeping us a nation of the free, but after speaking to the other veterans, I to now have a massive amount of respect for them.

We as a nation often forget the mainly forgotten victims of the war, the wives and families of the serviceman who never came back and the civilian caustics over in France.

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