Leading article: A battle won

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The Independent Online

It is welcome news that 500 British veterans have now raised enough money to enable them to travel in June to those Normandy beaches where, 65 years ago, they began to prise open the Nazi grip on the continent of Europe.

The importance soldiers place on returning to a place where they lost comrades cannot be overestimated. The battlefields of the First World War are slipping from our collective living memory. But those of the second great conflagration of the 20th century – of which few were more significant than the Normandy beaches in June 1944 – remain strong in the minds of those who fought in them.

The Normandy Veterans' Association has described this forthcoming expedition to Normandy as its "last parade". We hope it will not be. But what an incentive for those of us who owe these former soldiers such a tremendous debt to ensure this coming anniversary is marked with appropriate respect and gratitude.