Plans for 80-year D-Day commemorations in Normandy and Provence

Events will also pay homage to Resistance fighters

Many events will take place for the 80th anniversary of France’s liberation in World War Two
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A dozen ‘major’ events and thousands of smaller local ones are to be held across France as part of commemorative plans for this year’s 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

They will be part of “a national agenda that will highlight, at a particularly relevant time, the price of freedom, the importance of commitment,” said President Emmanuel Macron in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

The events will not only commemorate the D-Day landings themselves, but the work of the French Resistance and the civilians who died in France under occupation.

Read more: France honours foreign Resistance member: who was Missak Manouchian?

The international ceremony on June 6 – the day of the landings – will be joined by British, Canadian and American soldiers who landed on the beaches in 1944.

It is set to be a particularly poignant event, and perhaps the last landmark commemoration where soldiers present during the landings will still be alive to attend.

Read more: Thanks! Volunteers found to help D-Day knitted soldiers reach France

Events held across France

The first of these major events will begin on April 16 in Vassieux-en-Vercors (Drôme), to celebrate Resistance fighters across France’s rural areas.

This will be followed by events on:

  • May 8, another homage to Resistance fighters in Marseille

  • June 5, in Brittany, commemorating first deaths of D-Day that happened on the night before June 6, including Free French parachutists an Resistance members, alongside civilian casualties in towns such as Saint-Lô.

  • June 6, the main international event in Normandy

  • June 7, visits by the president to Cherbourg and Bayeux to “to commemorate the permanence of the Republic and its values”

  • June 10, visits to Tulle and Oradour-sur-Glane in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, to pay homage to civilians killed by Nazi brutality across France, and specifically in these areas.

  • June 16 or 17, a celebration of the Resistance fighters in Provence, and the international soldiers who landed in the south of France as part of efforts to push the Nazis out.

  • June 16, an homage to president Charles de Gaulle in Mont-Valérien (Hauts-de-Seine)

  • July 14, France’s Fête nationale will see commemorations of the Resistance effort, alongside non-French troops who fought and died in 1944 liberating the country.

  • The end of November will see an event celebrating the liberation of Strasbourg, and the promotion of the international city as “Europe’s response to war,”

Read more: Families launch appeal to save French WW2 massacre ruins

Other events may still be added, as the president seeks to make this a year “of transmission” for commemorations.

A drive to combine all of the physical data possible from the time period will begin, including the use of audiovisual archives.

The president also wants to restart the process of naming streets across the country in memory of Resistance members.

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