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Image description, The 80th anniversary of the Allied landings on D-Day was commemorated at the Ipswich War Memorial in Christchurch Park.

  • Author, George Koenig
  • Role, BBC News, Suffolk

War veterans and residents from across Suffolk have come together to commemorate “the greatest thing that has ever happened on this planet”.

In Ipswich, large crowds gathered at the war memorial in Christchurch Park to pay their last respects to both the city and Britain’s fallen heroes.

Local resident Steve Camfield, 72, said: “I get emotional talking about it because without the sacrifices of so many I wouldn’t be here.

“On this day 80 years ago, over 4,000 people died and it is very important that we pay our respects and say ‘thank you’.

“Many of today’s generations will no longer be here in ten years. To keep their memories alive, we should continue such things.”

Image description, Resident Steve Camfield, 72, commemorated the 80th anniversary of the Allied landings on D-Day

The service began with a speech by John Downie of the Ipswich Royal British Legion, before Councillor Alasdair Ross read out the names of Suffolk’s deceased heroes.

After a moving performance of the Last Post, dignitaries from Ipswich laid wreaths at the Cenotaph.

Frederick Claydon, 67, of the Ipswich and District Branch of the Royal Anglian Regimental Association, served as a private in the regiment for 22 years.

“It’s the greatest thing that has ever happened on this planet,” he said of the D-Day landings before serving as flag bearer at the ceremony.

“It must be remembered and not forgotten.

“The old people will come (to these events) as long as they can, but the younger generation must continue.

“Fortunately, all my elderly relatives survived the war, so we were quite lucky, but we think of the thousands we lost.”

Image description, Frederick Claydon, 67, of the Ipswich and District branch of the Royal Anglian Regimental Association, served for two decades as a private

Mandy Harvey, 61, attended the memorial service with children from her Ipswich childcare group, Giggles and Fun.

She said: “It is part of their education and they should know what happened and that it is thanks to these very brave soldiers that we live in the world we live in today.”

“It is very important that they know about those who fought for us. It would be a real shame (if such events stopped), because people should remember.”

Image description, Kindergarten owner Mandy Harvey, 61, said it was important that younger generations learn about the sacrifices of our war heroes.
Image description, Elango K. Elavalakan, Mayor of Ipswich, was moved by the ceremony

Elango K. Elavalakan, Mayor of Ipswich, spoke after the ceremony.

“This is very important for us because they died so that we could have freedom, a good and peaceful life,” he said.

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