Message to Veterans
From June 5th to August 21st 2014, Normandy will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy with due splendor and emotion. This year’s anniversary will be a time of national and international contemplation and communion.
Traditionally, annual commemorations of the Landings of June 6th 1944 have always been major events for Basse-Normandie, all the more so on the occasions of quinquennial and decennial anniversaries, where the international aspect is especially prominent.
And because this will likely be the last decennial anniversary to take place in the presence of actors in and witnesses to those momentous events, it will be a particularly special occasion ; welcoming a still large number of the remaining men and women who act as guardians of this “living memory” – probably for the last time and in celebration of a great anniversary – will indeed be cause for heartfelt emotion.
A number of American World War II veterans along with members of their family have expressed their wish to travel to France in 2014 to attend the ceremonies commemorating the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, the Allied Landing in Normandy on June 6, 1944.
The official ceremonies on June 6, 2014 in Normandy, France
France / United-States
Franco-American ceremony at Colleville-sur-Mer in Calvados at 10:40 a.m.
François Hollande and Barack Obama will stand side by side at the American Military Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer on June 6th, 2014 to commemorate this historic date. Together they will preside over the Franco-American ceremony.
France / United Kingdom
Anglo-French ceremony at Bayeux Cathedral at 9:15 (Calvados)
Anglo-French ceremony at Bayeux British’s Cemetery at 11:15
France / Netherlands
Franco-Dutch ceremony at 10:00 in Arromanches-les-Bains (Calvados)
France / Denmark
Ceremony at Utah Beach on the morning of June 6, 2014 (Manche)
France / Norway
Franco-Norwegian ceremony at 10:30 in Hermanville-sur-Mer (Calvados)
France / Poland
Franco-Polish ceremony at 5:30 in Urville (Calvados)
France / Canada
Franco-Canadian ceremony in Courvilles-sur-Mer at 5:30 (Calvados)
Preceded by a luncheon for the Heads of State at the Castle of Bénouville, this international ceremony will take place at 3:00 PM at Ouistreham.
Chaired by the President of the French Republic, the national ceremony for civilian victims will be held at theMemorial of Caen on June 6, 2014 at 9 AM.
Meetings with Veterans
Hiking paths through combat locations
Unveiling of plaque in streets named after WWII significant military events or figures
Balls and commemorative musical parades
Scenes reenacting daily life of June 44
To learn more about the many events set up around Omaha Beach, click here.
This list of happenings only mentions a few of the many events organized throughout Normandy and France on the occasion of this historic Anniversary.
Please find here and below other resources that will guide you in preparing your visit.
To learn more about other highlights of the commemoration planned in the Normandy region, you may also visit this page of the main website, le70e-normandie.fr, in English
City by city, read about the various activities organized by flipping through the practical guide below.
Note : Veterans who are travalling through LAX airport with Air France, please send your name and flight details to the Consulate general of France in Los Angeles
The Transmission of Memory
In 1944, men came to Normandy from all over the world to combat Nazism and restore peace : Americans, British, Canadians, Norwegians, Danes, Dutch, Poles, Australians, Belgians and French. Normandy will forever hold the memory of this page in history in trust, and for 70 years now has remembered and paid tribute to those many men who laid down their lives on its soil and seas.
The 70th Anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy will also provide an opportunity to further the Landings Beaches’ UNESCO World Heritage candidacy and affirm the Region Basse-Normandie’s responsibility for preserving their memory.
« The French Will Never Forget »
The association « The French Will Never Forget », established eleven years ago to pay tribute to the United States for their role in the liberation of France during World War II, launches on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the landing a national operation of email signatures in thanks to our American friends.
And for June 6th, 2014 the association organizes with the French Embassy in Washington and the Consulate General of France in New York, a major event commemorating the D-day.
It will take place around the Statue of Liberty, the very symbol of Franco-American friendship and the shared values of the United States and France.
In 1994, to mark the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings, Radio France, Ouest-France and the Memorial launched the “evening gatherings.” During these evenings of recollection, thousands of people came to share their experiences in dozens of towns and villages in western France.
The initiative was repeated in 2004 on the theme of Liberation, and in 2009 on the theme of Reconstruction.
In 2014, the Memorial, TVs and newspapers will focus on the theme of Reconciliation.
“After five years of war, how can we forgive each other ? How can we talk about these events again ? Under what circumstances, before and after the Élysée Treaty, have men and women decided to temper their resentments and attempt to go toward one another, to create twinning committees and resume a dialogue ? …”
Building a lasting peace : the European Union construction
At the end of the World War II, Europe was destroyed, left in ruins, and a lot of people were killed. Everything needed to be rebuilt and it was imperative that the European nations prevent another World War.
The difficulty was finding a way to build conditions of a lasting peace between countries that had been bitter enemies for years on end, to build healthy foundations for the future relations between those States.
The biggest problem laid in the relationship between France and Germany, who had been harsh enemies for decades.
The primary objective of Euroepan reconstruction was to create a lasting bond between those two countries, a bond that would spread between all the free countries of Europe, in order to build a permanent, peaceful community together.
On May 9, 1950, Robert Schuman, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs stated : “Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity.”
To learn more about the milestones of the European Construction, click here.