TORONTO, Oct. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Parm Gill, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Member of Parliament for Brampton-Springdale, today joined the Board of Directors of the Juno Beach Centre Association and its partners, Atout France and the Normandy Tourism Board, in officially launching a national campaign commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy in 2014. A short film entitled "They Walk With You," produced for the Juno Beach Centre to mark its 10th anniversary, was screened for all in attendance.
"The exemplary work that the Juno Beach Centre Association and its partners, Atout France and the Normandy Tourism Board, are doing to honour Canada's Veterans deserves true recognition" said Minister Fantino. "Through their efforts, they are reaching Canadians of all ages to promote a deeper appreciation of our country's military history".
"Our Government is committed to remembering the Canadian men and women who served and sacrificed so much in the defence of freedom and democracy in faraway places such as the beaches of Normandy," said Parliamentary Secretary Gill. "By remembering Veterans' service and sacrifices, we recognize the tradition of freedom they fought to preserve."
Minister Fantino recently named Major-General (R) Richard Rohmer as his D-Day Special Advisor. MGen Rohmer, who was a fighter pilot during the Battle of Normandy in the Second World War, has had a distinguished career and gained a deep knowledge about Canada's involvement in D-Day.
"Normandy, especially its historic shores, is a special destination for all Canadians and the Juno Beach Centre is thrilled to partner with these great organizations to raise awareness for this important anniversary," said Don Cooper, President of the Juno Beach Centre Association.
D-Day was one of Canada's most significant military engagements. Success on D-Day and in the battles that followed came at a price as there are more than 5,400 Canadian graves in Normandy. On land, by sea and in the air, many Canadians who participated in the Normandy campaign were young and new to battle, but their courage and skill meant they often helped lead the Allied advance against a determined enemy.
"Each year, France honours and thanks all those who contributed to free the country, Europe and the rest of the world during the Second World War," said Armelle Tardy-Joubert, Atout France's Director for Canada. "With 2014 bringing the 70th anniversary of D-Day Normandy, Canadians of all ages are especially invited to come appreciate Normandy's special commemorative program and discover the Juno Beach Centre and the many collective landmarks that help us never forget."
As we approach this year's Veterans' Week, your challenge is to show you remember. Wearing a poppy, attending a local Remembrance Day ceremony and changing your Facebook profile picture to a poppy are all ways to remember and honour Veterans. Visit veterans.gc.ca to get interactive and share your thoughts or to find commemorative events in your community.
For more information about commemorative events in your area, visit veterans.gc.ca/iremember.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada