As part of the 70th Anniversary commemorations of the Allied landings in Normandy, pupils from the Mezen High School in Alencon, France, fabricated a ‘Tree of Peace’ [Arbre de la liberté ].
The Tree of Peace was one of three created by schools across the Normandy region in 2013. The student welders created the tree, to represent the 70th anniversary of D- Day Landing, each tree would have, 70 Branches, 70 Leaves, each with words of peace and remembrance, all written by 70 Veterans, of which I was one of them. This is such a great honor, to have my words form part of such a striking and important memorial
My leaf reads,
“Remember and Act for Peace”
“REMEMBER” those who died during the Second World War. It was those who gave their lives for the freedom we all have today, and watch out for those who want to take away from us.
I was then invited to the unveiling of the tree in Alencon on 29 September 2013 and was asked to give a speech and answer questions about my experiences of the War from the teenage pupils. A short video of the presentation, in French, is available on the Mezen High School web site
It was just before we left, the teacher of the welders, who had been showing us how the trees were being made, came up to me whilst we were having tea and gave me a miniature metal tree as a souvenir, which now has pride of place in living room.