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Friday 23rd August 2019

D-Day 75 coverage leaves emotional viewers in tears and bursting with pride for war heroes

This week marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day

This week marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day - when Allied forces from 14 nations made final preparations for the invasion of Nazi-occupied Normandy.

And the BBC have remembered the hugely significant date with a series of commemorative live shows, which have understandably left viewers in floods of tears.

Huw Edwards presented from Southsea Common in Portsmouth (Credit: BBC)

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On Wednesday (May 5), D-Day 75: A Tribute to Heroes told the remarkable story of the build-up to the D-Day landings using the heartbreaking testimonies of veterans, music - including a performance from Sheridan Smith - and theatrical performances. 

Huw Edwards hosted the live event from Southsea Common, Portsmouth, where Her Majesty the Queen and US President Donald Trump were among the guests.

The celebrations culminated in a spectacular flypast of aircraft including restored Spitfires and the Red Arrows.

The D-Day 75 live coverage included moving testimonies from veterans (Credit: BBC)

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Sheridan's performance of Vera Lynn's track We Will Meet Again left fans sobbing, as she told the crowd her late father would have been proud.

The 37-year-old actress, whose dad Colin lost his battle to cancer in December 2016 aged 80, told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I just met all the amazing veterans in there. I'm an emotional wreck. It's just such an honour. I can't believe I've been asked to be here to be honest. It's overwhelming."

My eyes were full of tears for much of the day - listening, seeing, remembering - we must NEVER forget to whom we owe our freedom.

She added: "My dad was in the war and I know this would have been the best thing, for him to see me do this."

And those watching from home were emotional, too.

One fan said: "D-Day anniversary: Singer Sheridan Smith performing We'll Meet Again literally gave me goosebumps!"

Another added: "Very moving service and Sheridan you sang amazingly. Thank you..."

A third wrote: "Lovely D-Day 75 service at Portsmouth. Sheridan Smith OBE's performance was stunning! But today is all about doffing our caps to the old boys and girls who are still here, or passed away, who stepped up in our time of need as a nation and for a free world. #DDay75."

"Sheridan Smith singing We'll Meet Again got me weepy," admitted one more viewer. "That song always reminds me of my grandparents singing it and telling their war stories. #DD75 #Portsmouth. Fantastic D-Day commemorations."

Love him or hate him, US president Donald Trump was there to pay tribute to the D-Day veterans (Credit: BBC)

Many more viewers were moved to tears by the coverage, with one tweeting: "I've been watching the BBC coverage of the D-Day memorials and celebrations yesterday and this morning and am moved to tears with pride and humility.

"The veterans are adorable and I am only just understanding the sacrifice they made. #BBCBreakfast."

Another agreed, adding: "My eyes were full of tears for much of the day - listening, seeing, remembering - we must NEVER forget to whom we owe our freedom."

"I have just watched the 75th anniversary of D-Day on the BBC," said another. "It was very moving and I am sure brought tears to the eyes of some watching it. Thank you veterans and all those who took part."

One grateful viewer typed: "The D-Day anniversary on BBC is incredibly touching. Had a few tears seeing the elderly veterans. Made me think of my grandad, who was in the Navy. He never talked about the war and I can only imagine the things they must have seen."

Thursday's footage (May 6), live from Bayeux War Cemetery, sees Sophie Raworth at the helm, joined by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall for a service of remembrance. 

Were you moved by the D-Day 75 coverage? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!