AMID the hubbub of the election, it is almost as if the 80th anniversary of D-Day has caught us by surprise so magnifying the poignant emotion of the scenes in Normandy.

We are on the cusp of history: only 23 D-Day veterans survive, and with the youngest being 97, it seems unlikely that at the next major celebrations there will be any voices that are able to say “I was there”. It will pass from living memory and into history.

But we must not let it die. The self-sacrificing bravery of that generation is incredible, and the planning and ingenuity of Operation Overlord is astounding – most summers our computer-controlled airports grind to a halt and suitcases are lost, but in 1944, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery et al managed to land 156,000 soldiers on distant beaches with much of the equipment and supplies they needed in one day. Amazing!

We can only hope that, if called on in desperate circumstances, current generations would be so brave, so willing, so adaptable…

Missing from the commemorations is Russia, even though without Russia in 1944, pinning down the Germans to the east, the western invasion on D-Day would not have been so successful.

Vladimir Putin was present in 2014 for the 70th anniversary, but now he is inflicting Second World War-style bombardments on Ukrainian towns and cities as he, like Germany back then, tries to takeover his neighbour. We’re going to need some of the steadfastness of the wartime generation to see the Ukrainians through, and we hope the Americans, so rightly at the centre of the anniversary, do realise how the world’s security needs them to be a part of Europe.

The two days of commemorations, in Britain and in France, have been beautifully choreographed and have been a fitting way to show the handful who survive, and the hundreds of thousands who went before, how grateful we are and how we shall not forget.