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Last Updated: Friday June 05 2009 14:56 GMT

Maddy's D-Day diary

Maddy

It's 65 years since thousands of people sailed to France to free Europe from the Nazi party.

Maddy is in France for the remembrance ceremonies, and is keeping a diary of her experiences.

Friday 5 June PM

The medal ceremony was really interesting. Huge crowds had gathered to watch the D-Day veterans parade into a square next to Colville Beach, which was another place where the troops landed 65 years ago.

Ex-soldier at D-Day ceremony

Maddy at D-Day celebrations

There was also a marching band in pale blue with loads of bagpipe players.

Really proud

Then all the war veterans were handed their medals which were shiny bronze rectangles saying 65 for the number of years since D-Day. People from the local area presented the medals.

Pictures of the celebrations
Lily and Donald

Don was beaming when he got his medal and the family said they were really pleased for him.

The whole day has tired Don out though so we left him to have a little sleep as he has to get up early tomorrow for more memorial celebrations.

Unfortunately we've got head home this evening, but we wish him and his family all the best.

Friday 5 June AM

"This morning, we got up early to travel to a town called Ranville, where we stood with hundreds of people to watch servicemen parachuting out of traditional war planes and into the poppy fields around us.

Press Pack
Lily and her Grandad

We were doing it to remember the servicemen in the war who played a really important role by parachuting down to bridges in this area which they captured.

This helped the people arriving by boat to have a safe route into France.

We met up with war veteran Don and his 10-year-old granddaughter Lily, who've come over from Essex to watch the memorial events.

Medal

Don's going to be getting a medal to say thank you for his services during the war.

Lily told me she's really excited to be here to get a better idea of what her grandad did during the war and to give him a big hug to say well done."

Thursday 4 June

"We've had an exciting journey to Normandy on a ferry packed with other people heading to France for the memorial services over the next few days.

Men in Jeep
Lots of people came in jeeps.

Dozens of them were dressed in British army uniforms; some were even wearing traditional clothing from the World War II and many brought open top green army jeeps with them, decorated with British flags.

We followed a long snake of them off the ferry and along the coastline towards the famous beaches where the D-Day landings took place in 1944.

Sadly most of the people who lived through the D-Day landings are now too old to travel, and many have died.

Proud

But we've seen some war veterans who are now almost 90, proudly wearing their medals from World War II. Some have even brought their children and grandchildren with them.

Everywhere you go round here there are reminders of the war - museums, monuments, graveyards and of course the beaches where the attacks took place.

Beach
The beach was very busy

This afternoon we have been to visit one of them in a town called Arromanche. There are crowds of people gathered on the sand, remembering the soldiers who got killed here.

The buildings nearby are covered in British, American and Canadian flags. Over the next few days there will be lots of events to mark the anniversary of D-Day.

You can definitely sense that everyone who's made the trip here wants to make sure that what happened is never forgotten."

Maddy