THREE Sunderland youngsters will pay their own special tribute to the heroes of D-Day at a special D-Day Service at Sunderland Minster tonight.

Year 6 pupils Milly Clark from Fulwell Junior and Lucas Bowen from Biddick Primary and 15-year-old Shaun Hair from Washington Academy have been invited to read out the poems they have written especially for the day at a service to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in June 1944.

All three have been chosen to read out their poems after winning in a poetry competition organised by Together for Children and Sunderland City Council to honour the heroes of the largest seaborne invasion in history. Along with the associated airborne operations, the D Day landings marked the beginning of the liberation of France and Western Europe.

More than 100 pupils from schools across the city entered the competition and all of the poems entered will be proudly on display at the D Day 80 celebration service at Sunderland Minster in High Street West.

The Minster service will be led by Major Edward Gorringe, Padre, 8 Rifles.

Among those attending are the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Allison Chisnall and Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Dr Norman Taylor who will read Laurence Binyon’s famous poem ‘For the Fallen’.

Commander Kevin Stockton of the Royal Navy will read ‘In Flanders Field’ and the Sunderland Minster Choir will sing 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

Everyone is welcome to attend tonight’s D-Day 80 Service at Sunderland Minster which begins at 6pm

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