World War II
Portsmouth's service of remembrance
Portsmouth remembers D-Day
Crowds gathered on Southsea seafront to mark the 65th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy. The event was a mixture of solemnity, remembrance but also something of the 1940s party spirit.
Southsea, the original HQ for D-Day operations in 1944 was the focus of the Legion's D-Day 65 celebrations in Britain throughout Saturday 6 June.
Events started with a D-Day parade from Lumps Fort to the D-Day stone on the seafront, with visitors cheering D-Day veterans in their regimental blazers ahead of an emotional service of remembrance.
All generations enjoyed the party
Veterans joined with friends and families to remember the fallen of D-Day at a mass flag planting between the Bandstand and Castle Field behind the D-Day Museum.
Among those placing a Union Flag with a message in memory of D-Day was Peter Rimmer whose father Charlie landed in France on D-Day+2. His simple message read: "Well done."
Another visitor, Pearl James, brought her children to Southsea saying: "We came today just to remember all those who gave their lives. It's nice to see the veterans and hear their stories. It's important we never forget."
Charity cyclists set off from Southsea
The events reached a climax when a Hercules aircraft performed a flypast and dropped a million poppies around the war memorial. The heart-shaped cloud of red poppies fluttered to the ground at exactly 5pm.
Throughout the afternoon the D-Day 65 Party in Portsmouth was in full swing on the seafront, with 1940s music, dancing, military vehicles and the Red Devil parachutists keeping the crowds entertained.
last updated: 08/06/2009 at 09:34