D-Day landing demonstration in British naval port

PORTSMOUTH, United Kingdom (AFP) - An amphibious vehicle roared off a landing craft onto a beach at this naval port on Thursday in a demonstration to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Portsmouth was the departure point for the troops heading to Sword Beach, the easternmost of the five French beaches targeted by Allied forces.

As veterans gathered in Normandy to join world leaders for commemorations of the Allied invasion, a smaller event on the English side of the Channel was attended by 80 former soldiers and representatives of the armed forces of Britain, Canada and France.

A service was held on Southsea Common to remember those who died in the military operation.

Queen Elizabeth II's daughter Princess Anne attended, writing in the order of service: "The anniversary of June 6, 1944 will always be an emotional one, with memories of lost comrades, family members, and the large numbers killed in those first days following the Normandy landings.

"They had no idea what they were to face, or what the effect of their efforts would be, but as we now know, D-Day marked the beginning of the end of World War II."

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