D-Day 80: Saltdean commemorates the day with an evening of events

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On Thursday, June 6 the nation will come together to remember the tens of thousands of allied forces who gave service on D-DAY eighty years ago and helped secure the peace we in the UK enjoy today.

At St Nicholas, Saltdean they will be commemorating the day with an evening event starting with the Ringing of the Bell for Peace at 6.30pm. This will be followed by a Commemorative Service at which George Dunn, a WWII veteran will lay a wreath whilst the Last Post is played.

A fish and chip supper follows in the grounds of the church to the sounds of music from the 1940s before the evening draws to close with the reading of the D-Day 80 Proclamation and lighting of a beacon.

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Paul Cartwright, Church Warden of St Nicholas and one of the organisers of the event, said: “It’s essential that we continue to remember those who gave their lives for us all those years ago. Having a WWII veteran as part of the commemoration means so much.”

D-Day 80 Saltdean commemorates the day with an evening of eventsD-Day 80 Saltdean commemorates the day with an evening of events
D-Day 80 Saltdean commemorates the day with an evening of events

Throughout the day church bells will ring out, flags will be flown, schoolchildren will learn stories about their great grandparents, town criers will proclaim the victory, the sound of bagpipes will fill the air, and Lamp Lights of Peace will be lit to signify the light that emerged from the dreadful darkness of war.

Bruno Peek CVO OBE OPR Pageantmaster of D-Day 80, and of the 80-day countdown to June 6, 2024, said: “In 1944 Allied forces mounted the largest amphibious invasion the world has ever witnessed. Operation Overlord, D-Day, saw over 5,000 ships and landing craft set down more than 150,000 troops on the five Normandy beaches that would bring about the liberation of north-west Europe from Nazi occupation.

“In order to commemorate the peace and freedom given to us through the bravery and ultimate sacrifice of so many thousands involved in the D-Day landings, and throughout the whole of WW11, over one thousand beacons and hundreds of Lamp Lights of Peace will be lit across the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories - and in a very poignant and unique gesture, a special Lamp Lights of Peace lamps will be lit on each of the five beaches in Normandy, at 9.15pm local time that night, to coincide with the lighting of beacons at that time too.

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“However, at 9.10pm, as night descends - and just before the beacons ignite - the resonant sound of bagpipes will be heard across the capital cities of London, Edinburgh, Belfast, and Cardiff. We will also have a presence in other major cities of the Allied nations that took part. From Washington DC to the distant shores of New Zealand’s Auckland, from Ottawa to Paris, and from Canberra to Brussels, Athens and Amsterdam, Oslo, Warsaw, and Prague.

“The light from the flames from the lamps and the beacons will represent the ‘light of peace’ that emerged from the darkness of war, with the lamp providing a very simple, safe, unique and cost effective way of taking part in this important 80th anniversary occasion, especially as once used, can be lit again at 11am on every Remembrance Sunday thereafter, in tribute to the many millions that sacrificed their lives during WWII.”

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