Britain Celebrates the 70th D-Day Anniversary

The 70thanniversary of D-Day is arriving on June 6th of 2014, and Britain is already prepared to commemorate the event. Radio host Chris Evans is scheduled to report live from the site of the battle on that very day, and he is not by far alone as one of those who will be speaking on the events of the day. Seven decades after the bloody beach battles of Normandy, the D-Day anniversary is bound to be one of the most heavily reported events in BBC history.

The week of the anniversary will naturally be highly concentrated with memorial programs in radio and televised media, and of course the remembrances will also occur in a number of print outlets as well. Radio 2 and Radio 4 are both in on the proceedings. The former will have a musical memorial at Royal Albert Hall on the night of the event including folk music as well as performances by the BBC Concert Orchestra, and will also be airing a show from the HMS Belfast. The latter will focus on the empowerment of women from the era, with a service on American female correspondents who were working in British media around the time D-Day occurred.

James Holland, a historian who will be airing a documentary on BBC Two, is set to speak on more than just D-Day as he speaks on over two months’ worth of military operations from WWII, all of them surrounding that singular day that nearly 12,000 Allies died at the start of the Normandy invasion. While the anniversary is remembered by some for the part it played in the Allied victory, these days are another large part of the reason for the remembrances, and there will be many solemn memorials as a result, the BBC News reports.

The thousands who died on D-Day were but a small fraction of the over 150,000 who took part in the invasion overall. Many say that the end of WWII began with that invasion. Whether or not this is fully true, many still agree that the day was important. In France, they are anticipating the largest anniversary celebration since the last one ten years ago.

The 70thD-Day anniversary is a big day for Europe, and indeed for America as well, for not only the lives lost but the victory eventually gained. Those taking part in the ceremonies are bound to feel a mixture of elation and solemnity as they stand in remembrance of all that would transpire in the last year of the war, and how the war’s end began on that tragic day. All who are able to make any of the D-Day anniversary ceremonies are most certainly encouraged.


Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE