Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), issued the following statement today regarding the 66th anniversary of D-Day.
“On June 6, 1944, 15,000 Canadian forces from land, air and sea came together on the beaches of Normandy to join in the Allied invasion of occupied France. D-Day, and the campaign that followed, would signal the beginning of the end of the Second World War.
The triumph at D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, however, was not without sacrifice. Of the 90,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served in the Battle of Normandy, 5,000 would lay down their lives defending freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
The First Sunday in June is Canadian Forces Day, a day dedicated to honoring the contributions of those who serve, both at home and abroad. It is fitting that this year Canadian Forces Day also falls on June 6, because the values our military men and women continue to defend are the same as those our Veterans fought for on the beaches of Normandy so many years ago.
Canada remembers its heroes—we will pay tribute to their legacy and honour those who continue to serve. The freedoms we enjoy today are because of them and we owe it to them to remember. Lest we forget.”