80th Anniversary of D-Day – Service Of Commemoration

in Wakefield

In a heartfelt tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought in the Normandy Landings, Wakefield Council is inviting residents to a Service of Commemoration on Thursday, 6 June. This significant event will take place at Wakefield Cathedral at 8pm, providing an opportunity for the community to honor the 80th anniversary of one of the most pivotal moments in World War II.

The service will be led by the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Reverend Tony Robinson, who will guide attendees through a solemn reflection on the courage and determination shown by the Allied forces during the D-Day landings. This event is an open invitation to all, with no tickets required, ensuring that everyone can participate in this moment of remembrance and gratitude.

D Day

A Moment of National Reflection

Cllr Josie Pritchard, Wakefield Council’s Armed Forces Champion, emphasizes the importance of this anniversary.

“This 80th anniversary of D-Day will be the most poignant yet,” she remarked. “There will be major events right across the country, celebrating the heroic sacrifice made by so many in June 1944. Our veterans and their families deserve the ongoing gratitude of everyone in our country.”

She further encourages the public to join the commemoration, highlighting the significance of recognizing the sacrifices made to protect our way of life. The service at Wakefield Cathedral promises to be a deeply moving occasion, reflecting on the bravery and selflessness of the soldiers who landed on the beaches of Normandy.

Remembering D-Day: The Largest Seaborne Invasion in History

D-Day, which took place on 6 June 1944, marked the beginning of Operation Overlord, the largest seaborne invasion in history. Over 5,000 ships and landing craft transported more than 130,000 troops to five beaches in Normandy—Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. This monumental military operation initiated the liberation of France and ultimately led to the defeat of Nazi forces in Western Europe.

The heroism displayed on that day has left an indelible mark on history, symbolizing a beacon of hope and resilience during one of the darkest periods of the 20th century. The peace and freedom enjoyed today are a direct result of the sacrifices made by these brave individuals.

Lighting of Beacons: A Global Tribute

In addition to the service at Wakefield Cathedral, the commemoration will include the lighting of beacons across the world. At 8.15pm, the International 80th Anniversary Beacon will be lit alongside the British Normandy Memorial, overlooking Gold Beach. This beacon will symbolize the unity and shared memory of the five beaches—Utah, Omaha, Juno, Gold, and Sword.

Following this, at 9.15pm, the Principal United Kingdom, Channel Islands, and Isle of Man beacon will be lit at His Majesty’s Naval Base, Portsmouth. Simultaneously, villages, towns, and cities across the UK have been invited to light their beacons, creating a nationwide tribute to the sacrifices of D-Day.

In Wakefield, the beacon will be positioned outside the Cathedral’s West door. The lighting ceremony, led by the Mayor, Cllr Darren Byford, will take place at 9.15pm, following the service. This act of remembrance will unite the community in a shared moment of reflection and gratitude.

Final Points

The 80th Anniversary of D-Day is not just a time to look back at history, but a moment to honor and remember the extraordinary courage and sacrifice of those who fought for freedom. The Service of Commemoration at Wakefield Cathedral offers a poignant opportunity for residents to come together, reflect on the past, and express their gratitude for the peace and freedom we enjoy today.

Everyone is welcome to attend this significant event, ensuring that the legacy of the heroes of D-Day is remembered and celebrated by future generations.

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