Today, 6 June, is the 75th anniversary of D-day. On this day 75 years ago, 156 000 Allied troops crossed the English Channel by sea and by air to land on the beaches of German-occupied Normandy in France. It was the largest seaborne invasion in history, and 4500 Allied troops died on the beaches on that day. Under the command of General Eisenhower, Operation Overlord saw 875 000 troops land in Normandy in June of 1944. The liberation of France from the Nazi regime was a turning point in the war that led to the freedom of Europe and the Free World that we know today. Overnight Her Majesty the Queen led commemorations at Portsmouth, supported by the President of the United States, Donald Trump, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and leaders from across Europe and the Free World, including the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. As Her Majesty reflected, the commemorations are an opportunity for those who have enjoyed 75 years of freedom to say thank you to those who sacrificed so much and contributed so much. More commemorations are to follow at Normandy in France today. In 1995 Victoria commemorated the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and celebrated the victory of freedom over tyranny with major parades and services in Melbourne to mark VE Day and VJ Day. Next year will mark the 75th anniversary of the end of Second World War. It is likely to be the last sentinel anniversary where the servicemen and women to whom we owe so much can be present to receive the thanks of a grateful nation. I take this opportunity to call on the government to ensure that Victoria does mark this important anniversary with a calendar of events befitting the sacrifice and achievement of 75 years ago.
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