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80th Anniversary of D-Day

Liberal Party of Australia

80th Anniversary of D-Day

There were many turning points in the Second World War. But one thing is certain: victory against the German war machine, the defeat of Nazi tyranny, and the Liberation of Europe would not have been possible without Operation Neptune – the Normandy landings – and Operation Overlord – the battle for Normandy.

D-Day – June the 6th 1944 – was the day of days.

Winston Churchill called the vast operation ‘the most complicated and difficult that has ever taken place.’ Operation Overlord was years in the making. No effort was spared in planning, arms build-up, training, secrecy, and one of the most sophisticated deception operations in military history – Operation Fortitude.

By the end of D-Day, more than 155,000 Allied troops had secured a foothold in Normandy from which they would go on to win the war in Europe. But the first day of that ‘Great Crusade’ came at a terrible cost with more than 4,400 Allied troops killed.

Today, as a nation, we acknowledge, commemorate, and pay tribute to the 3,200 Australians who were involved in D-Day, including the 13 Australians who were killed. We also pay homage to the thousands more Australians who helped to liberate Europe from tyranny following D-Day, and the hundreds killed over the course of the campaign.

Those who served and sacrificed in the Second World War were truly the Greatest Generation.

On this 80th Anniversary, we are reminded that democracy and freedom are neither the result of luck, nor natural occurrence. We are the beneficiaries and custodians of the great inheritance of democracy and freedom which the Greatest Generation defended and preserved through their service and sacrifice.

Our gratitude to them must never wane. Our duty to them is to never drift into complacency when peace is threatened in our times. Our memory of them must never fade.

Their lives and endeavours are a reminder of the commitment needed to repel tyranny and of the courage needed to preserve liberty. May they continue to be an inspiration to our generation – and those that follow us – of the importance of such commitment and courage.

Lest we forget.

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