Official organisers said that the hundreds of ceremonies should aim to ‘pass the baton’ from the veterans to young people.
The first of the major ceremonies start on Thursday 05 June. These events at Pegasus Bridge and the Pegasus Bridge Museum to mark the airborne landings in Horsa Gliders by troops from the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, and 249th Field Company Royal Engineers.
There will be a mass parachute drop by 16 Air Assault Brigade to mark the liberation of Ranville, the first French village to be liberated, by the British 13th Parachute Battalion.
A ceremony for UK 3rd Division veterans will be held at the British Garden of the Caen Memorial museum and a memorial service at Breville-Les-Monts for members of the 12th Parachute Battalion, a company from the 12th Battalion Devonshire Regiment and the 22nd Independent Parachute Company, who suffered heavy losses in an attack on 12/13 June 1944.
There will also be a memorial service to mark the attack on Merville Gun Battery on 06 June 1944 by 9th (Eastern and Home Counties) Parachute Battalion and a midnight celebration at Pegasus Bridge to mark the actual moment of the airborne landings as well as an 11pm firework displays all along the Normandy coast to celebrate freedom.
On 06 June there will be a service of Remembrance at Bayeux Cathedral organised by the Royal British Legion, at which The Queen will bless the new Bell of Peace and Liberty then the ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at Bayeux, is organised jointly by the Normandy Veterans’ Association and The Royal British Legion.
The international ceremony at Ouistreham has been organised by the French Government and a march past and service of commemoration is being held by the Normandy Veterans Association at Arromanches-les-Bains.
The French Post Office has issued special stamps to mark the 70th anniversary which will go on sale for the first time on Thursday 05 June. They will be available in post offices in towns along the Normandy beaches and in Manche and Orne.
The €0.66 stamps will also be available in a special package of ready stamped envelopes for €4.10 and later in the month a collector’s book of 10 stamps will become available.