Canadian Veterans wrap up emotional ceremonies in France

June 7, 2014

Minister Fantino joins Veterans to honour those who served during D-Day
and the Battle of Normandy

NORMANDY, France, June 7, 2014 /CNW/ – It has been an emotional week for
Canadian Veterans who returned to Normandy, France, to mark the 70(th) anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. Almost 100 Canadian
Veterans from the campaign visited former battlefields to pay their
respects to fallen comrades, and reflect on their massive
accomplishment that helped signal the beginning of the end of the
Second World War.

Earlier this week, the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans
Affairs, attended the unveiling of new tribute markers mounted at the
Juno Beach Centre in honour of those Canadians who were killed in
action on D-Day.

Yesterday, Minister Fantino and Veterans attended the international
ceremony in Ouistreham, in the British Sector of Sword Beach. The
Government of Canada also hosted a signature event at the Juno Beach
Centre in Courseulles-sur-Mer. Close to 6,000 people were in
attendance, including their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and
The Duchess of Cornwall; and the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime
Minister of Canada.

Today, Minister Fantino joined the Veterans for a commemorative ceremony
at the Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, in Cintheaux, to
pay tribute to the 2,793 Canadians who rest there. The Minister and
Veterans also participated in ceremonies organized by the Canadian
Battlefields Foundation at the Canadian Garden, Le Mémorial Museum, as
well as at La Place de l’Ancienne Boucherie and at the garden of
l’Abbaye d’Ardenne.

Though anniversary events in France and Canada will soon come to a
close, the heightened period of commemoration for both the First and
Second World War will continue as the country approaches the 150(th) anniversary of Confederation in 2017.

Quick Facts

        --  Almost 100 Veterans are receiving travel assistance from
            Veterans Affairs Canada to attend events in France.
        --  Young Canadians were also a large part of the events overseas,
            with nearly 1,000 students and cadets travelling to France on
            educational tours.
        --  Of the more than 90,000 Canadians who served in the Battle of
            Normandy, more than 5,000 gave up their lives defending
            freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
        --  On D-Day, having successfully breached the Atlantic wall,
            Canadian soldiers pushed the farthest inland. Those vital gains
            came at great cost, however, as Canadians suffered the most
            casualties of any British Army Group during the ensuing Battle
            of Normandy.


“It has been a truly moving experience to witness all generations, from
youth to Second World War Veterans, so deeply engaged in the spirit of
remembrance. Though it was 70 years ago that the course of history was
set on the shores of Normandy, it clearly still resonates today.”

The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs

Associated Links

        --  70th Anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy
        --  Canada Remembers Facebook page
        --  Veterans Affairs Canada Flickr photo stream
        --  Veterans Affairs Canada Twitter feed

SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada

Source: PR Newswire

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