Government of Canada announces delegation travelling to Normandy, France to commemorate 75th anniversary of D‑Day and the Battle of Normandy

News release

May 31, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario, Veterans Affairs Canada

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, will lead an official Government of Canada delegation to Normandy, France, to mark the 75th anniversary of D‑Day and the Battle of Normandy. The delegation will depart Ottawa on June 2, 2019, and will return to Ottawa on June 9, 2019.

The delegation will include Veterans from the Second World War, representatives of Veterans organizations and Indigenous groups, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian youth and parliamentarians. A contingent of the Canadian Armed Forces comprised of units and branches that had been involved in D‑Day and the Battle of Normandy will also participate in ceremonies and events in France.

Approximately thirty‑five Veterans who served on D‑Day or during the Battle of Normandy will be part of the Government of Canada’s overseas delegation. The three branches of the Canadian military all played a significant role on D‑Day, and are all well‑represented by the delegation’s campaign Veterans.

Members of the delegation will also include the family of Sergeant John Albert Collis, a Canadian soldier of the Second World War whose partial remains were recently discovered and identified and will be interred at a ceremony at the Bretteville‑sur‑Laize Canadian War Cemetery on June 7, 2019.

As part of the delegation selection process, Veterans Affairs Canada worked with Veterans organizations to identify Canadian Veterans to serve as delegates, while the four Canadian youth travelling with the delegation were selected in conjunction with Encounters with Canada. These four youth all have family connections to D‑Day and the Battle of Normandy, and during their time in France, they will participate in ceremonies and share research projects about aspects of the campaign.

Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtags #CanadaRemembers and #DDay75, or visit veterans.gc.ca/d-day75.

Quotes

“It’s a great privilege to lead this delegation to Normandy, France, to commemorate the sacrifices made by members of the Canadian military 75 years ago. D-Day and the ensuing Battle of Normandy were of enormous importance for Canada and for the world. It is important that we continue to recognize and remember the more than 90,000 Canadian soldiers who volunteered to serve our country and saw action in the Normandy Campaign and it will be an honour to join many of those Veterans as they visit the places they liberated 75 years ago.”

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • On June 6, 1944, the Allies launched Operation Overlord, a massive amphibious assault on the coast of occupied France intended to create a beachhead in Western Europe.

  • Some 14,000 Canadians landed at Juno Beach in Normandy and charged fortified German positions. By the end of the day, 359 Canadian soldiers had been killed but an Allied foothold in France had been established.

  • More than 90,000 Canadian soldiers who had volunteered to serve Canada during the Second World War saw action in the Normandy Campaign.

  • The Battle of Normandy lasted for 11 weeks. Fighting through the dust and heat of the French summer, more than 5,000 Canadian soldiers were killed and another 13,000 wounded before the campaign officially came to a close with the liberation of Paris on August 25, 1944.

  • The Canadians who fought on D‑Day and throughout the Battle of Normandy were among the more than one million men and women from our country who served in uniform during the Second World War.

Contacts

Media Relations
Veterans Affairs Canada
613-992-7468
Vac.media-medias.acc@canada.ca

Alex Wellstead
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
alex.wellstead@canada.ca

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