The Guardian

'Haunted for the rest of my life': veterans recall D-day landings

Emotions conflict at 75th anniversary in Normandy as scale of human sacrifice is remembered
Veteran John Eden, 94, from Silverdale, Lancashire, attends the commemorative parachute descent at Sannerville, France. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

It was a great day. It was a terrible day. So, as the dwindling few who bore witness to the monumental feat of endeavour and ingenuity of D-day returned to Normandy’s beaches, emotions were conflicted. Street parties, flypasts, swing bands and sing-a-longs contrasted with solemn ceremonies where the celebratory was vastly outweighed by reminders of the scale of human sacrifice.

On the seafront at Arromanches, overlooking Gold beach where 75 years ago a blue-grey armada had filled the horizon as far as the eye could see, a lone

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