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Sunday Mail Opinion: We shall never forget.

AND so they came. By train, planes and most movingly aboard a flotilla of boats they returned to the beaches of Normandy.

Today, exactly 60 years after the most stunning operation in modern warfare, the veterans of D-Day will remember Europe's Longest Day.

So must we all.

Ten thousand of the 185,000 troops of Operation Overlord did not survive those first terrible 24 hours.

They paid the ultimate price to free Europe from Nazi tyranny and our debt to them can never be calculated.

Most of them were young men still in their teens and 20s.

These young servicemen should have been finding their feet in life, growing from boys into men, falling in love.

Instead, they took up arms to liberate Europe and were decimated on the five blood-soaked beaches of northern France.

It is not the time to dissect Jack McConnell's monumental lapse in judgment or George Bush's ill-timed attempt to compare his war on terror to the Allies' defiance of Hitler.

Tony Blair was more subtle about it but trying to equate the invasion of Iraq with the Second World War is as crass as it is wrong-headed.

We do not need a President or Prime Minister to tell us how the valour of 60 years ago resonates today.

Now, more than ever, we must realise the need for nations to stand together to defeat a common enemy.

Today is a time to remember the sacrifice and service of our D-Day heroes.

The chances of many of the proud veterans gathering today travelling to France for another major anniversary is dwindling along with their numbers.

One day, they will all be gone.

Then, it will be our responsibility to ensure their sacrifice is never forgotten.

And it will be our duty to ensure that it will never be in vain.

CAPTION(S):

Tears: A British veteran yesterday
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Title Annotation:Comment
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 6, 2004
Words:311
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