D-Day Vets in Britain Honor Comrades as 13 Names Are Added to a Memorial

by Braxton Taylor

LONDON — With medals pinned to their chests, two D-Day veterans proudly represented their comrades as 13 new names were added Tuesday to a memorial wall in southern England that honors those who took part in the Normandy landings.

British veterans Stan Ford and John Roberts and 11 others were added to the Normandy Memorial Wall at the D-Day Story Museum prior to an event marking 100 days until the 80th anniversary of the start of the invasion that ultimately ended World War II in Europe. The June 6 event promises to be one of the last big commemorations, because so few of the 850,000 troops who took part remain.

Ford served on HMS Fratton, which took part in the invasion and was sunk off the Normandy coast in August 1944. He wants to be there to honor those who are gone — to remind people that victory cost the world plenty.

Read Next: US Army Is Slashing Thousands of Jobs in Major Revamp to Prepare for Future Wars

“I hope the young people will hear of the exploits, take it on board and see that it doesn’t happen again,” the 98-year-old said. “I survived and there are 31 reasons why I keep going back to Normandy, and that’s the 31 guys that never made it.”

The sentiment was echoed by Roberts, 99, who joined the Royal Navy at the age of 13 and served until 1978 having reached the rank of rear admiral. On D-Day, he served on the HMS Serapis, which was at the front of the convoy that arrived at Sword Beach at 7:30 a.m.

“It’s more important every year because there will be less and less veterans alive still. I’ll be 100 by then, but in 10 years’ time there will be no veterans left and I think it’s important to go on,’’ he said. “I enjoy it because I’m so pleased it’s remembered.”

Thousands of members of the public will join D-Day veterans, personnel from the Armed Forces and local officials in June for events commemorating the landings. Personal stories of the veterans are to be the heart of the event, which will also feature military musicians, a flyover by the Royal Air Force and tributes from special guests.

Related: A British D-Day Veteran Celebrates Turning 100, But the Big Event Is Yet to Come

Story Continues

© Copyright 2024 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the full article here

You may also like

Leave a Comment