Ottawa area youth wish bon voyage to Veterans heading overseas at a
special unveiling of a minted coin to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing
OTTAWA, June 3, 2014 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino,
Minister of Veterans Affairs, Erin O'Toole, Member of Parliament for
Durham and Veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, today unveiled a
specially designed silver coin minted to capture the landing at Juno
Beach on June 6, 1944. MP O'Toole was joined by Second World War
Veterans, Ottawa area youth, and representatives from the Royal
Canadian Mint for this special occasion.
Departing this evening for commemorative events in France, the Veterans
also took this opportunity to share their stories with students from
Mutchmor Public School and Notre Dame High School, who thanked them for
their service and wished them a safe trip. The students also confirmed
their commitment to honour and remember the sacrifices of all those who
served during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.
While in France, Veterans will be joined by Prime Minister Stephen
Harper, Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino, and other
representatives from Canada in events hosted by the Government of
Canada, the Canadian Battlefields Association, the Republic of France
and other participating countries.
D-Day was one of Canada's most significant and successful military
engagements, and a pivotal moment of the 20th century. D-Day and the campaign that followed in Normandy would help
signal the beginning of the end of the Second World War. The Government
of Canada is committed to recognizing Canada's proud military history
and the bravery and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform as the
country approaches the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.
Almost 100 Veterans are receiving travel assistance from Veterans
Affairs Canada to attend events in France.
Young Canadians will also be a large part of the events overseas, with
nearly 1,000 students and cadets travelling to France on educational
Some 2,044 Canadians who fell in the Second World War now rest at the
Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery. Among them are nine pairs of
brothers—a record for a cemetery of the Second World War.
Some 2,793 Canadians who fell in the Second World War now rest at the
Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, including 78 members of
the Royal Canadian Air Force.
"Today, as our Veterans prepare for their return to the shores of
France, all Canadians should reflect upon their sacrifices and
achievements in liberating the world from tyranny 70 years ago. These
brave men and women deserve our gratitude for protecting our cherished
way of life and for creating a bond between our two countries that will
remain for generations to come."
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs
"As a grateful nation, we also have a duty to remember these Canadian
Veterans who stepped forward when our nation needed them, who served
with courage and distinction and who defended all the things we still
hold dearly today."
Erin O'Toole, Member of Parliament for Durham and Veteran of the
Canadian Armed Forces
"This 70th anniversary of D-Day send-off ceremony for the Veterans of D-Day and
the victorious Battle of Normandy in the long ago summer of 1944 is an
honour that is appreciated by all of those Veterans who are now on
their way to Juno Beach—the successful landing point in Normandy on
June 6th, 1944.
"We Veterans, almost all of whom are now in our nineties, are also
highly honoured by the Royal Canadian Mint and its production of this
beautifully crafted and designed commemorative D-Day coin. Given the
ages of the Veterans, this on-decade 70th anniversary will likely be the final one of such celebrations. So the
creation of this coin and its permanence in the workings of our
treasured Canadian society, the finest and best nation in the world in
which to live, is a much welcomed salute to all of us Veterans for
which we are most grateful."
Major-General Richard Rohmer, OC, CMM, DFC, O.Ont , CD, QC, Chevalier de
la Legion d'Honneur Senior Veteran of D-Day and Battle of Normandy
"The Mint has a long history of commemorating Canada's Veterans and
their sacrifices. On the eve of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, Mint employees have proudly produced a special
silver coin to honour their bravery in the face of peril, in a pivotal
battle that changed the course of the Second World War."
Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint
Image with caption: "Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Erin O'Toole, along with Carman Joynt, Director of the Royal Canadian Mint Board of Directors and local students join Veterans as they prepare to depart for France to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. (CNW Group/Veterans Affairs Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140603_C8258_PHOTO_EN_41034.jpg
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Veterans Affairs Canada