Canada Joins The World Commemorating D-Day Anniversary

Posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 09:22 AM

This year marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the first day of the battle of Normandy.

On June 6 1944, Allied troops stormed the beaches of France and of the 45,000 Canadians who lost their lives during the War, 5,500 were killed during the Battle of Normandy and 359 on D-Day.

Robert Loken, national manager for honours awards and commemoration with Veterans Affairs Canada, says they have commemorations scheduled for overseas at Juno Beach and here in Canada including an initiative called Boots of Remembrance.

"Using the military boots as the symbol of our soldiers who would have taken the train across the country to Halifax before then moving on to convoys bringing them over to Europe."

Boots of Remembrance was launched in March and is a partnership of Veterans Affairs Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces, Parks Canada and Via Rail.

Loken says there aren't many veterans still alive.

"And we won't have them for much longer, so it's important to remember that today's freedoms and peace that we have is because of what they did for us in Europe."

Locally, there are only two members of the Wedgeport Royal Canadian Legion Branch 155 who survived D-Day still living.

A. Wesley Spinney and Alcide J. LeBlanc.

Spinney was on a Canadian Navy ship on D-Day and during the following weeks.

LeBlanc landed in Normandy a month after D-Day.

Both men will be recognized at the June 6 ceremony at the Wedgeport Legion..

There are seven other Legion branch 155 veterans who are still living and were all part of the WW2 military war effort and will also be recognized.

Owen D. Atkinson, Nelson J. Blanchard, Roland A. Bourque, Beatrice I. Cottreau, Lorraine M. Cottreau, Charlie A. Muise and Henry I. (Miff) O'Connell.

Here's a link to Veterans Affairs Canada's special D-Day page:

(photo-Veterans Affairs Canada

Story by Gary Nickerson
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