On June 6, 1944, some 14,000 Canadians stormed the beaches of Normandy with Allied troops to breach Nazi Germany’s “Fortress Europe.” On that day—known as D-Day—three hundred and fifty-nine (359) Canadian soldiers were killed. D-Day and the ensuing Battle of Normandy was one of Canada’s most significant military engagements of the 20th century. On August 25, 1944, the Allies liberated Paris, officially ending the Battle of Normandy. More than 5,000 brave Canadians died—and more than 13,000 were wounded—during this campaign, and helped to end the Second World War.
We live in a country strong and free thanks to those who fought selflessly to achieve peace. When someone serves in Canada’s military, their whole family serves with them. This is as true today as it was last century. We recognize their support and sacrifice. More than 90,000 Canadian soldiers who volunteered to serve our country and saw action in the Normandy Campaign.
In the months leading up to the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, Veterans Affairs Canada—with VIA Rail Canada, Parks Canada and community organizations—held events in communities throughout the country as part of the commemorative journey across Canada. During these events, people from coast to coast to coast payed tribute to the Canadians who sacrificed so much to defend peace and freedom during the Second World War.
Soon, the combat boots—which were placed on trains at stops in communities across the country as symbols of the Canadians who volunteered to serve during the Second World War—will arrive in Halifax before taking center stage in the Government of Canada signature ceremony at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site on June 6, 2019.This year, the Government of Canada is leading two delegations—one in Canada and another overseas. Each delegation will include Veterans of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, representatives from Veterans organizations and parliamentarians. Canadian youth will also be part of the overseas delegation.
I encourage everyone to participate in the 75th anniversary of D-Day events in the coming week. For a list of events in Canada and overseas, click here
Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtags #CanadaRemembers and #DDay75