Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Thursday, 17 July 2008 18:35 UK

Call to 'respect' the term D-Day

The Normandy landings in 1944
The Normandy landings spearheaded the liberation campaign

Some World War II veterans who took part in the Normandy landings want an end to what they claim is the "dumbing down" of the term D-Day.

Members of the Royal Army Service Corps claim its use to describe such events as the climax of the football season trivialise the landings on 6 June 1944.

The Montgomeryshire branch said that was "disrespectful" to those who died.

The D-Day and Normandy Fellowship said it understood the view, but they were being "a bit overly sensitive".

The D-Day landings spearheaded the campaign to liberate western Europe from the Nazis.

Much of Europe was still occupied by the Axis powers when the campaign, codenamed Operation Overlord, was given the go-ahead.

It proved successful and within less than a year the war in Europe was over.

More than three million service personnel took part in D-Day
We want people to stop degrading and devaluing what D-Day was actually about
Normandy veteran Douglas Jones

Douglas Jones, 83, from Dutlas, near Knighton, Powys, was a dispatch rider during the war, and arrived in Normandy on 9 June, 1944.

He said members of the veterans' group often spoke about the misuse of D-Day in everyday life.

He added: "I've seen it used to describe the planned closure of a school, but the term has also been used to describe many other things, including stories about football and the planned closure of a nursing home.

"The media, and people in general, are guilty of using the term in the absence of something more articulte.

"It's always used flipantly to describe a dramatic event, but those who use it must be ignorant of what actually happened on D-Day - they would never use the term otherwise.

"We want people to stop degrading and devaluing what D-Day was actually about."

The D-Day and Normandy Fellowship, which has members who took part in the landings, said the Montgomeryshire veterans were being "a bit overly sensitive".

The fellowship's secretary Don Valler said: "I can't say I've come across the term being used disrespectfully.

"People also use the term 'he met his Waterloo', but people would not describe that as disrespectful.

"I can see where the veterans are coming from, they want to keep it as a special term and I can understand that.

"But they're being a bit overly sensitive, but that's easily done when a term such as D-Day is central to your organisation."

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