IT may be 69 years ago, but for many of those who took part in D-Day the horror and ferocity of the events still burn a vivid memory in their minds.

The booming guns, horrific smell and sheer terror of those approaching the beaches came through in the interviews we did with survivors.

No-one should ever have to go through an experience like that but, thanks to those who did, today we are living in a free country.

We live in communities that are safe now because of the actions of those brave men.

But for many of those who survived the Normandy landings, today could be one of the last anniversaries that they are able to mark with us.

So today we, their children and grandchildren, need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them and show we are forever thankful for their sacrifice. The Normandy landings are a reminder to all of us of the dangers of arrogant nationalism and escalating conflicts for bravado’s sake.

They should remind us also that the world is one global community and that we need to work together, at least to guarantee our future survival.

D-Day must never be forgotten. It must live on in the world’s consciousness so that we make sure we keep striving for peace.