East Anglian MPs back our D-Day campaign

MPs across East Anglia have joined the East Anglian Daily Times in calling for the Government to rethink its plans to mark the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Normandy.

MPs across East Anglia have joined the East Anglian Daily Times in calling for the Government to rethink its plans to mark the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Normandy.

We have launched the Remember Our Heroes campaign in a bid to secure a national day of commemoration for the war veterans who fought for Britain on June 6, 1944.

Next year is the 60th anniversary of the landing and the Government has indicated that only "low key" plans have been made to mark the occasion.

But MPs in Suffolk and Essex have called for a much larger-scale tribute to be arranged for the servicemen, many of whom will not be around for the next official anniversary.

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Shadow Defence Secretary Bernard Jenkin accused the Government of "penny pinching", and said at the recent 60th anniversary of Alamein, even Germany appeared to have made a greater effort than Britain.

"It was humiliation for Britain. It was humiliation for the British veterans. The only veterans that came from Britain were those who paid for themselves or were funded by charities. It was an absolute disgrace.

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"I'm determined that we do our veterans proud at the 60th anniversary of D-Day next year. I expect the Prime Minister to be there."

The Conservative MP for North Essex added: "There is huge public support for this and it's penny pinching in the Government that's holding this back."

Suffolk South Conservative MP Tim Yeo said: "For quite a number of veterans, this is their last big anniversary realistically.

"I think it would be entirely appropriate there should be pretty substantial recognition of that. The 50 year anniversary was a big event bit I think it's right that they should be calling for it."

Harwich Labour MP Ivan Henderson said many of his constituents had fought in previous conflicts and added he would support a large-scale commemoration day in recognition of the D-Day soldiers' bravery.

He said: "I would certainly be behind any campaign such as that because in my constituency there are a large number of veterans from previous conflicts.

"There are large groups of Royal British Legion members who I regularly have contact with and I will give my support in any way I can."

As part of the Remember Our Heroes campaign, the EADT is asking readers to voice their support for a more suitable day of commemoration.

Your signatures will be passed to defence secretary Geoff Hoon.

The D-Day landings involved 150,000 servicemen, some of the youngest of these are now 77 and will be more than 90 by the 75th anniversary in 2019.

David Ruffley, Conservative MP for Bury St Edmunds said: "The British Government should really be pushing the boat out in terms of ministerial time and commitment.

"The 40th anniversary was important. The Government did a lot of work. I don't see the same amount of work, time and commitment from the Government ministers for the 60th anniversary and this is 20

years on.

"The veterans who fought, the ones fortunate to come back unscathed, they are all 20 years older. Ten years from now, many of them will pass on."

He added: "It's about paying respects to people. I have heard virtually nothing in Westminster.

"What about the Millennium? I don't understand why they are not putting an equal amount of resources into this."

nTo support the Remember Our Heroes campaign, send the completed coupon to EADT, Remember Our Heroes, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN.

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