Plans are being worked on to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings across the Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon (ABC) Borough.
Head of Community Development, Seamus McCrory, made the announcement in response to a motion, tabled by Alderman Glenn Barr, at a full council meeting held on December 18.
Alderman Barr had worded his motion as follows: “As we approach an historic juncture, the 80th anniversary of D-Day in World War II, this milestone in the annals of time signifies a pivotal moment in the arduous struggle for freedom and the profound sacrifices made by countless individuals in the pursuit of lasting peace.
“It is incumbent upon us to not merely recollect the significance of D-Day, but also to comprehend its impact on our community and the global landscape. D-Day stands as a turning point, a moment when courage, resilience and unity triumphed over the forces of tyranny.
“My question [to the] council is this: what plans and initiatives are set in motion by our esteemed council to commemorate this historical occasion? What events or ceremonies are being organised to pay tribute to the heroes who valiantly fought on the beaches of Normandy?
“How will our community unite to remember the sacrifices of those who served on that fateful day? Additionally, can we explore the specific significance of D-Day to our ABC Council area?
“How did the events of June 6, 1944, resonate within our community, with the individuals – and I’m sure there’s plenty of individuals from our region who played pivotal roles in the liberation efforts.
“Understanding these local connections enriches our appreciation for the shared heritage that binds us.
“If there are no plans, I propose that at the earliest opportunity, and at the relevant committee, plans begin, be it through educational initiatives, memorial services or community events, or the lighting of beacons as part of a UK-wide initiative.
“Let us collaborate and commemorate this momentous occasion. Together we can ensure that the legacy of D-Day endures, inspiring future generations with the profound lessons of courage, sacrifice, and the pursuit of a world free of oppression.
“Let’s utilise our collective efforts in honouring our D-Day heroes.”
The motion was seconded by fellow UUP representative, Alderman Ian Burns, who stated: “I think it is a significant milestone – 80 years on from D-Day landings when lots of heroics were carried out to liberate the world from tyranny, and I think it’s very important that this Council marks it.”
Confirming that plans are firmly in place to commemorate the historic occasion, the ABC head of Community Development commented: “The planning for D-Day 2024 does sit as an action within the community development team formed within the 24-25 action plans.
“So similar to previous planning, officers will be reviewing what’s planned in other areas, but they will be developing a plan [which] will be brought back through a working group before preparing reports on committee.
“So it sits in a programme of work like members will have seen before, and it’ll be subject to agreement with members and working through that process between officers and members through the working group.”