80th Anniversary of the Normandy Landing

On Thursday, June 6th, under a radiant sun, the Normandy Veterans Association gathered at the Shrine of Remembrance to mark the 80th anniversary of the Allied Landing in Normandy on June 6, 1944. In attendance were consular dignitaries from the Allied nations, USA, UK and France, as well as the descendants of the Normandy Veterans.

During what was called the LONGEST DAY, on 6 June 1944, some 135,000 young men squeezed on thousands of naval ships, waiting for the landing on the Normandy Shore to begin…These soldiers were mostly British, American and Canadian, but there were also Belgian, French, Polish, Dutch and Norwegian troops. A lot of these young men had never set foot out of their countries before. On the French shores, some 55,000 Germans and their artillery awaited them. At dawn, the armada had started their operations. That day, 120,000 Allied troops were landed plus the 32,000 men from airborne divisions. Amongst this group of Coastal Command Air squadrons, two were Australians. They had a crucial role to play as it was essential to take the enemy by surprise…

There were more than 10,000 dead, wounded or missing on D Day.

In Melbourne, the Shrine Governor, Lieutenant Colonel Don Reid, and Reverend Siôn Gough Hughes of the Welsh Church, welcomed all participants before the Geelong Welsh Ladies Choir began The World in Union.

After the moving speech by the Honorary Consul General of France in Melbourne, Myriam Boisbouvier Wylie, wreaths were laid in front of the Eternal Flame in tribute to the fallen soldiers.








The ceremony continued with the National anthems of France, England, the United States, and Australia, followed by the Last Post and a minute of silence.

It was a very beautiful and emotional ceremony.

Myriam Boisbouvier Wylie with the Anciens Combattants association’s members