The 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy in 2014 will be remembered with the aim of making sure that young people do not forget the sacrifice that was made to free Europe during the Second World War.
A new association has been formed to mark the special 70th anniversary called Manche 1944-2014 which will be a catalyst for what is expected to be the last big commemoration of the landings as many of the veterans who are still alive are too old to travel from the United States or even from the UK.
Many of the events being organised for 2014 will be particularly aimed at young people to give them a sense of the value of peace. â€˜Our role is to make sure that this major event is well organised and given the thought and resonance this particular anniversary deservesâ€™, said a spokesman for the Conseil General of the Manche.
â€˜We want to give the 70th commemoration the resonance that it deserves, to encourage people to take part and remember and to tell young people of today the importance of what happened during the Second World War and in particular the liberation in this department,â€™ he added.
Organisers hope that a member of the Royal Family will be present for the 2014 events. The 2014 commemorations are also likely to see numerous head of state including Barack Obama, the President of the United States and David Cameron if he is still Prime Minister of Great Britain. As many veterans as possible plan to be at the events, the youngest of whom will be aged around 90.
Meanwhile, a campaign to relaunch an historic D-Day gunboat in time for the 2014 anniversary has started in Portsmouth. Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust (PNBPT) aims to raise Â£70,000 to allow MGB 81 to cross the English Channel.
It is thought to be the last remaining ship of its kind. It provided cover at sea for US troops landing at Omaha beach in Normandy in 1944.