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Sunday, 3 June, 2001, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
Veterans relive 'Normandy experience'
Normandy landings
Museum visitors can learn about all the events of Normandy
Over 1,000 World War II veterans are gathering to mark the opening of the largest UK exhibition dedicated to the Normandy landings.

The Normandy Experience - being opened at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambridgeshire, by the Duke of Kent - will focus on the role of the ordinary soldier during the 157,000-strong invasion of the Nazi-held French coast on 6 June, 1944.

There are people's stories which have to be told

Duxford Imperial War Museum

A second permanent exhibition - Monty - will focus on the life and achievements of Field Marshal Montgomery, commander of the Allied forces during D-Day.

The two openings will be marked by the largest gathering of veterans of the 1944 campaign this year, say organisers.

'Years of preparation'

A spokesman for Duxford Imperial War Museum said: "This is something we have been working towards for years - there are people's stories which have to be told.

"We are delighted that some of the veterans are going to come and honour us with their presence."

The spokesman said The Normandy Experience is the biggest and only dedicated exhibition in the UK, covering the whole story of the Normandy campaign.
Field Marshal Montgomery
One exhibition is dedicated to Montgomery

The centrepiece of Monty will be the three converted lorries which became his personal headquarters.

Two of the vehicles were used during campaigns in North Africa and Italy and the third built for D-Day was later used in Germany.

Among the guests on Sunday will be his son, Viscount Montgomery of Alamein CBE.

Sunday's opening event will include a march-past of veterans, flying displays by D-Day era aircraft, parachuting by the Red Devils and demonstrations by tanks and military vehicles.

After the opening ceremony attended by up to 2,000 guests at 1130BST, the exhibitions will be open to the public from 1430BST.

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See also:

04 Jun 00 | UK
The Longest Day
06 May 99 | UK
D-Day hero dies
25 May 00 | UK
WWII bomber to fly again
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