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‘I want to make sure all local people are given the opportunity to take part and pay their respects’ says Portsmouth MP ahead of D-Day 80 commemorations

By 28 May 2024June 3rd, 2024No Comments
Stephen Morgan with veterans. Photo © of Stephen Morgan MP

Portsmouth MP Stephen Morgan has said he wants to make sure all local residents are given the opportunity to take part in the D-Day 80 commemorations and recognise the bravery and sacrifice of those who gave their lives for our freedom.

Mr Morgan, who successfully lobbied for D-Day 80 events to be hosted in Portsmouth, has spoken with Ministers and event organisers to ensure his constituents can get involved and pay their respects.

The Portsmouth South MP, whose grandfather was a D-Day veteran, recently met with the Defence Minister responsible for the D-Day 80 preparations to ensure arrangements are in place so the event appropriately honours our veterans and passes the story of their sacrifice onto the next generation.

Following recent conversations with constituents, Mr Morgan has written to the Defence Minister to discuss further how local people can best be informed and involved in the commemorations.

Mr Morgan has relentlessly lobbied the Defence Secretary, Culture Secretary and tabled a series of parliamentary questions regarding the city’s role in D-Day 80.

Mr Morgan also met with the council, police and Royal Navy to discuss preparations, as well as hosted regular briefings with the Culture team at the council and met with British Council to discuss youth engagement at the event.

Commenting, Portsmouth South’s Stephen Morgan said:

“Given our city’s proud history, I have long called for the D-Day 80 national commemorations to take place in Portsmouth and I am grateful to those involved in delivering the events in our city.

“Next week will be a special one for our city, which is why I want to make sure all constituents are given the opportunity to take part and pay their respects to those who gave their lives for our freedom.

“I will continue to productively work with Ministers and the organisers doing all that I can to ensure D-Day 80 is honoured as it should be.”

You can learn more about the current programme of events on offer in Portsmouth below.

D-Day Firepower Weekend at Fort Nelson – Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June

The Royal Armouries family event to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day with a weekend of big gun firings, Second World War artillery displays, re-enactors and military vehicles, as well as contemporary music from singing duo Perfect Vintage. The event will be on from 10am-5pm, with two firings of Second World War artillery per day at 11.30am and 2:30pm. For more information visit here

From Sword to Utah: Voices from D-Day Poetry Event – Sunday 2 June

At Southsea Cinema and Arts Centre, there will be a series of poetry and film events including archived poetry by those who took part in the Normandy landings or who were connected to them. This will be juxtaposed with writing from contemporary local poets who will have crafted their own poetry especially for the event. For more information visit here.

International D-Day Event at Southsea Common – Wednesday 5 June

Thousands of members of the public are invited to join D-Day veterans, Armed Forces personnel, the leader of Portsmouth City Council and VIP guests at the historic international event.

The events will ensure the message and legacy of D-Day lives on in a new generation, as hundreds of Portsmouth schoolchildren attend a spectacular cultural commemoration on.

The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will perform a flypast overhead, while Royal Navy ships in Portsmouth Harbour will sail past in formation, sounding their sirens. For more information visit here.

Armed Forces Day at Southsea Common – Saturday 8 June

Salute Portsmouth’s armed forces community at this special event involving parades, music, military vehicles, parachute jumps and more. The event is free of charge and open to all. For more information visit here.

Daedalus D-Day 80 Celebrations at Solent Airport – Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June

An all-day family event for all to enjoy with a living history area for re-enactors to attend for the public to come, see and learn about WWII military equipment, services and its history, there will also be Static Aircraft, Flying Display. For more information visit here.

D-Day in 80 Objects tour at The D-Day Story – Wednesday 12 June at 7pm

The D-Day Story has teamed up with a host of partner organisations around the country to bring together 80 fascinating objects relating to D-Day.  During this event, the curator of The D-Day Story explains how this special project was created, and some of the perhaps lesser-known aspects of history that it reveals. For more information visit here.