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Commonwealth War Graves Commission marks D-Day 80 with ceremony in Cathays Cemetery in Cardiff

As the country prepares to mark the 80th Anniversary of D-Day in June, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Torch of Commemoration will appear in Cathays Cemetery tomorrow (16th May) with a ceremony designed to engage younger people and inspire them to play their part in marking the sacrifices of the fallen.

Alongside His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, Mrs Morfudd Meredith, veterans, and people from across the wider community in Cardiff will come together to mark this momentous occasion. Thursday’s event, taking place at midday, is the latest stop on the CWGC’s torch roadshow, which is reaching hundreds of thousands of people as it crosses the UK to inspire more engagement in younger generations with our shared past.

The CWGC is calling for improved education on significant moments in our collective history, such as D-Day. Research published by the Commission this month identified that a third of people are not able to correctly identify the significance of D-Day, with a further one in ten people stating they actively ‘don’t know’ what D-Day is. For young people, the figure was higher, with one in five young people aged 18 – 24 admitting they ‘don’t know’ the significance of D-Day.

However, the survey also revealed that most people agree that long-term commemoration of people who lost their lives in war is very important, including one in two young people, who say that educational programmes should be central to future initiatives.

Against this backdrop, the CWGC’s ‘Lighting Their Legacy’ torch roadshow has been created with building connections between veterans and young people at its heart, in a bid to improve education, connect with younger generations and inspire them to understand the lessons of the Second World War.

The event in Cathays Cemetery will see veterans, young people, and attendees hear more about local stories of D-Day and witness a torch lighting ceremony representing the importance of younger people taking up the duty of commemoration to keep our shared memories of events like D-Day alive.

Commenting on the event, the CWGC’s local Public Engagement Coordinator, Amy Kitcher, said: “D-Day 80 is a national moment, a special time to come together to commemorate and contemplate the sacrifices which underpin the freedoms we enjoy today. It’s an honour to help ensure that we carry on that legacy for generations to come.”

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