Along Normandy's coastline, simple services were held throughout Thursday. Bugler strains of The Last Post drifted over Sword Beach, the eastern most of the five landing sites, as rheumy-eyed veterans stared out at the sun-kissed expanse of golden sand.
How different it was now to then. "It was so smokey, there was so much noise, the noise was really quite terrific," remembered Ron Rogers, 96, then a captain with "the Suffolks". "The Germans were shelling, we had a rocket ship to our right. There were houses on fire in front," he said, surveying the calm sea from his wheelchair as a child piled a toy tractor with sand just yards away from him.
Then, he scrambled ashore at 8.30am on 6 June 1944, as German snipers took aim. "An officer was shot just in front of me. We took cover behind a burnt out tank. I tell you, I don't really remember the casualties because I was too busy trying to get off the beach."
Rogers, a retired insurance broker from Bedford, fought onward and onward until he was wounded on 13 August in a mortar attack, the shrapnel from which he still carries in his back.
TVNL Comment: Great photos of the 1944 D-Day operation here.