Sheffield readers vent frustration over D-Day flag no-show
Star readers have vented their frustration at Sheffield City Council for not flying a union flag on a city war memorial to mark D-Day.
The Barker’s Pool memorial flagpole was left without a flag on Thursday – while nationwide commemorations were held to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
The massive invasion of Allied troops on the beaches of Northern France on June 6, 1944 was a vital turning point in the Second World War, leading ultimately to the defeat of Nazi Germany. But while the Town Hall was flying a union flag, the memorial in Barker’s Pool was empty – and the decision was met with anger from readers on The Star’s Facebook page.
Hazel Downes said: “As a mark of respect to our fallen heroes who gave their lives for our freedom that flag should have been raised.”
Steven Kennedy added he is “sure they could have done it.”
Jillian Longley posted: “For what it costs and the dignity and recognition it gives fly our flag and be proud.”
But Jennifer Mohammed Jones said people should listen to what veterans wanted, which included a dedication ceremony at Weston Park.
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She added: “These men are heroes and I respect what they wanted.”
Sheffield Council said the union flag was only flown at the Barker’s Pool site when a ceremonial service was held and added it had worked with the Normandy Veterans’ group to organise a service in Weston Park.
Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure, said it was an “honour” to be part of the Weston Park ceremony and added: “We have been working with the Normandy Veterans’ since last year to create a peaceful place of remembrance and as the memorial tree continues to grow and flourish, so will the memory of our fallen service man and women who fought so bravely for our freedom.”
She added there is a full day of commemorative events in the city on June 15.
Graham Askham, secretary of the Normandy Veterans Sheffield and District, said it would have been a “good idea” to have a flag at Barker’s Pool but the added the focus now was around the new memorial at Weston Park and he thanked the council for their support.