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St Albans Mayor leads ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day

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St Albans Mayor Councillor Jamie Day has led a moving ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

The Mayor attended the event at the War Memorial in St Albans City Centre along with the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Jenni Murray, and former British Army soldier John Gauthier, a member of the Royal British Legion.

Town Crier Stephen Potter read a proclamation to remind people of the importance of the Allied invasion of the Normandy beaches on 6 June 1944.

The Rev Mark Dearnley of St Peter’s Church read a poem, Normandy, by D-Day veteran Cyril Crain which included the verse:

Come and stand in memory,

Of men who fought and died,

They gave their lives in Normandy,

Remember them with pride.

Rev. Dearnley then said a prayer before leading a minute’s silence in memory of the fallen.

Around 50 residents from around the District also attended the event to pay their respects to those who helped liberate Western Europe from Nazi tyranny.

Afterwards, the Mayor said:

I was very impressed by how many people turned out for this event, coming together to commemorate D-Day.

There are not many people left now who lived through that historic battle, but it is vitally important that we continue to remember those who fought to uphold our freedom.

We owe the war generation so much and I was proud to lead this ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of one of the greatest military campaigns of all time.

In the evening, the Mayor lit a beacon at 9.15pm as darkness fell at the village green by Highfield Park Centre.

Beacons were lit across the country at the same time, including at Harpenden Common, to bring the national commemorations to a spectacular close.

Photos: top, from the left, Town Crier Stephen Potter, Rev Mark Dearnley, Mayor Jamie Day, Deputy Mayor Jenni Murray and British Army veteran John Gauthier; below, from the left, Highfield Park Trust Chair Tim Abbott, the Mayor and the Trust’s Chief Executive Officer Debbie Rixon.

Contact for the media: John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, 01727 819533,