Our gratitude to heroes of D-Day
Like me, I am sure that many of you will have been deeply moved by last week's D-Day 75 commemorations and the many
stories of courage, selfless bravery and sacrifice retold by veterans and the descendants of those that didn't make it home.
D-Day is still the largest ever seaborne invasion in history and was a pivotal moment, not only in the war, but in the modern history of the entire planet – starting the liberation of Europe from the tyranny of Nazi control and establishing the foundations for the freedoms we all enjoy today.
I am especially proud of course that the people of Nottinghamshire played a vital role on D-Day - not only on the beaches, skies and seas around Normandy, but back home in the fields, coal mines and factories, which were equally as important in providing the supplies to keep our armies going.
Many of the aircraft used on D-Day, including the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster, were powered by Merlin engines, developed here in Nottinghamshire at Hucknall Rolls Royce.
In fact, Nottinghamshire was one of the major locations for training volunteers to become bomber air crew, which meant that thousands of young men from across this country, Europe and the Commonwealth came here to learn their craft. Sadly, this also meant that many were killed in the process, with numerous memorials now in place at crash sites across our county.
Nottinghamshire was also a base for the United States Army. A new US Army Hospital was built for troops next to the site of the current King’s Mill Hospital on the Mansfield / Ashfield border in 1942. And Wollaton Hall in Nottingham acted as both a base for American Paratroopers and a prisoner of war camp.
It is imperative that we not only remember events like D-Day and World War II to learn lessons for our future, but also that we remain grateful to those that served to secure all our futures.
The County Council recently supported a trip to the National Arboretum for 50 local veterans to coincide with the D-Day anniversary.
Our Veterans Together scheme, where groups of veterans aged over 65 meet around the county to socialise and take part in activities and commemorative projects. Since the scheme was launched in June 2017, four groups have been set-up - in Beeston, Mansfield, Netherfield and Worksop.
Councillor Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council