Southend to commemorate 80th anniversary of D-Day

Southend-on-Sea will join the nation in commemorating the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Normandy landings with an beacon lighting ceremony at the Southend Cenotaph on Thursday June 6.

D-Day, on June 6 1944, was a pivotal moment in the Second World War. The Allied Forces launched a massive invasion of Nazi-occupied France, a bold and strategic operation that marked the beginning of the end of the war in Europe. This year, Southend will honour the bravery and sacrifice of those who took part in this historic operation through a series of commemorative events.

The beacon lighting ceremony will begin at 8:45pm with a performance by the Southend Band and Choir, followed by a D-Day 80 proclamation by Mr Keith Evans, chairman of the Leigh Branch Royal British Legion, recognising the extraordinary military planning and immense bravery of the Allied Forces.

The Mayor, Councillor Ron Woodley, will deliver a welcome address, after which he will light the beacon at approximately 9:15pm. The mayor will then read The International Tribute in remembrance of all those who gave their lives at home and abroad during the D-Day landings.

Cllr Woodley said: “This is a significant anniversary for our city, nation, and the world. The bravery and sacrifice of those involved in the D-Day landings cannot be overstated. We come together to honour their memory and the enduring legacy of peace and freedom they fought to secure. We are privileged to have veterans and their families attending the service with us, and I encourage all residents to join us for this poignant day of remembrance.”

In addition, Southend Community Events will host a free event on Saturday June 8 from 9am- 4:30pm, at Southend Victoria Circus. This event will feature military vehicles and equipment, 1940s singers and dancers, cadets and veterans and much more.