THREE Sunderland youngsters paid tribute to the heroes of D-Day at a special service marking the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day landings at Sunderland Minster last night.

Year 6 pupils Milly Clark from Fulwell Junior School and Lucas Bowen from Biddick Primary, and 15-year-old Shaun Hair from Washington Academy read out poems they had written especially for the service to mark D-Day.

The three schoolchildren had their poems chosen from more than 100 entries in a poetry competition organised by Together for Children and Sunderland City Council.

The competition took place to remember and honour the heroes of the largest seaborne invasion in history in June 1944. Along with the associated airborne operations, the D-Day landings marked the beginning of the liberation of France and Western Europe.

All of the poems entered into the competition were displayed during the D-Day 80 celebration service at Sunderland Minster last night (6 June).

The Minster service was led by Major Edward Gorringe, Padre, 8 Rifles, and was attended by the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Allison Chisnall and Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Dr Norman Taylor who read Laurence Binyon’s famous poem ‘For the Fallen’.

Commander Kevin Stockton of the Royal Navy read ‘In Flanders Field’ and the Sunderland Minster Choir sang ‘Jerusalem’.

“It’s a great honour to come together as a city on the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives fighting for the freedom that we continue to enjoy today.

“We owe them a huge debt of gratitude. Without the tremendous bravery and courage of all those who took part and those who supported them back home, the outcome of the war might have been very different.”

The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Allison Chisnall

“It’s wonderful to see so many young people from our city taking part in the poetry competition to mark this anniversary. I’m incredibly proud to see them paying their own very special tribute to the heroes of D-Day 80 years on.”

Praising the 100 plus pupils from across the city who entered the poetry competition

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