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War veterans honour proposed

normandy-landings (1)[4]

11:05am 1st July 2011
(Updated 2:27pm 1st July 2011)

Veterans of the Normandy Landings are to be honoured with the freedom of the city, if a former Lord Mayor gets his wish.

Coun. Brian Watson has requested that the York Branch of the Normandy Veterans, a small group of veterans of World War 2, have the honour conferred sometime in the coming months.

Coun. Watson says:

“The Lord Mayor announced my request at last night’s Full Council meeting, which I hope will be followed by a council meeting in the future to confer the honour.

“Having done a tour of the battlefields last year with the Veterans and seeing how much respect was shown to them by people from all over Europe, and even further afield, I realised that it was time that their city gave them some special recognition.  Normally the freedom is given to a particular regiment but on this occasion it covers a few regiments, as it was more than one that took part.

“I see this honour as a mark of respect in memory of the many that took part and it gives them the right to march through the city carrying arms, with drums beating and banners flying but I honestly can’t see them doing that!

“I’m delighted to be able to put this proposal forward for the Normandy Veterans because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be in a position to”.

Coun. Watson said all veterans of armed conflicts were deserving of recognition, and that the Normandy Veterans hold a special place for the public due to their efforts and impact in WW2.

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