Canadian tank crews remove water-proofing from their tanks, Normandy beachhead. June 6, 1944. Image courtesy of Canada Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada

Golden legion honours D-Day 75th anniversary

June 6 this year marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the largest seaborne invasion in history where Canada contributed 14,000 troops.

Golden’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch #122 is having a dinner on Friday, June 7 from 5 to 6:45 p.m. to commemorate the anniversary and honour the veterans who fought in the Second World War.

“D-Day was a very important day for Canada,” explained legion president Ed Coon. “The legion likes to honour and remember the veterans that fought for our freedom.”

According to the Canadian War Museum chronology of Canadian military history, on June 6, 1944, allied forces invaded Western Europe on an 80-kilometre-long front in Normandy, France. Nearly 150,000 troops landed or parachuted onto the beachfront, codenamed “Juno.”

Out of all of the troops who fought, 14,000 Canadian soldiers joined to fight against German defences. The Royal Canadian Navy contributed 110 ships and 10,000 sailors, the (Royal Canadian Air Force) RCAF bombed targets inland, and fighter bomber squadrons helped control the skies over Normandy, and attacked enemy targets.

On D-Day, Canadians suffered 1,074 casualties, including 359 killed.

Although the local legion doesn’t have any members who fought at the D-Day celebration, it is still important to remember those who fought, and honour all veterans, young and old. Everyone is invited to the dinner, which will include prayers, speeches, and more by veterans and cadets. After dinner, there will be live music played by The Pickups.

“I want it to be more of a social evening,” Coon said, adding that bringing everyone together is a good way to honour all of the veterans.

The dinner is free for veterans to attend. Anyone else who would like to join can pay a fee. Tickets are available at Castle Fuels, at the legion, or by calling Sherri MacDonald at 250-272-6469.

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