Lone Piper Plays To Mark The Moment British Troops Landed On D-Day
A lone piper played a mournful refrain in Northern France this morning to commemorate the moment that British forces first set foot onto the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.
The piper stood atop the Mulberry harbour and played the song 'Highland Laddie' on the beach in Arromanches at 6.62am today, marking the exact moment that British troops set foot onto French soil on June 6 1944.
300 veterans were brought across from Portsmouth yesterday on a specially chartered ship - the MV Boudicca - to attend a commemoration ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the invasion today.
Following the performance, Pipe Major Trevor Macey-Lilley, of the 19th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Scottish Gunners) said: "That was nerve wracking to do but I feel very proud and it was a privilege to do it."
It is said that the same song was played by piper Bill Martin on Sword Beach as his friends and comrades were slain around him on that day in 1944.
In one of her last Prime Ministerial engagements, Theresa May spoke at an event to inaugurate a new memorial at Ver-sur-Mer, near Gold Beach - a key focal point of the British attack - today.
Mrs May said: "If one day can be said to have determined the fate of generations to come, in France, in Britain, in Europe and in the world, that day was the 6 June 1944.
"More than 156,000 men landed on D-Day, of which 83,000 were from Britain and the Commonwealth.
"Over a quarter of a million more supported operations from air and sea, while the French Resistance carried out extraordinary acts of bravery from behind enemy lines.
"Many were terribly wounded, and many made the ultimate sacrifice that day, and in the fierce sacrifice that followed, as together our Allied nations sought to release Europe from the grip of fascism."
She then read out the names of several soldiers to be killed in the D-Day operation, and added: "These young men belonged to a very special generation, the greatest generation.
"A generation whose incomparable spirit shaped our postwar world.
"They didn't boast. They didn't fuss. They served."
"We will always remember their courage and convictions.
"To our veterans I want to say the only words we can: thank you."
Services and memorials will be taking place throughout the day in France, Britain, and around the world to commemorate those who bravely fought in the largest ever land, air, and water military operation.
Featured Image Credit: PA