The great betrayal: How the Government is treating the 65th anniversary of D-Day with utter disdain (UK)





Their achievement stands as one of the greatest military triumphs in history.

It is, frankly, inconceivable to imagine anything as big or audacious as D-Day being attempted ever again: more than 300,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen in a bloody dawn attack which liberated France and Europe and changed the world.

These days, their average age is 84. But the people they liberated from Nazi rule will never forget them - which is why, to this day, the veterans of the D-Day landings find it extremely hard to pay for so much as a drink when they set foot on the Normandy beaches.

For many, this year - the 65th anniversary of the Allied invasion of France - will be the last hurrah, the final pilgrimage.

The D-Day chaps are a matter-of-fact bunch. 'We're not getting any younger,' they say with a shrug. Hence, they have decided to close the Normandy Veterans Association later this year. But hundreds of them are determined to go out with a bang, to give June 2009 their best shot, and to get themselves over to France by whatever means possible.

Once there, they will not be disappointed. Led by President Nicolas Sarkozy, the French will make the liberators feel more honoured and appreciated than ever, with parades and medal presentations spread over several days.

Sadly, though, that sort of gratitude is not being reciprocated on this side of the Channel.

While the U.S. and Canadian governments are also organising events for their own D-Day veterans, both in France and at home, the official British position is so curmudgeonly that it is almost hilarious: there will be no further national commemoration of D-Day until the centenary.



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