OTTAWA, June 6, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, issued the following statement today in recognition of the 69th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy:
"On June 6, 1944, Canadians in uniform put their courage forward in defending democracy, freedom and the rule of law. Their success achieved in the pursuit of liberty helped pave the way to victory in Europe on May 8, 1945.
"The collective experiences and stories of Canada's Veterans who fought in Normandy have provided Canadians with a proud and lasting legacy that will continue into our nation's future. From the perilous landings on D-Day through to the closing of the Falaise Gap where many German troops were trapped as they tried to retreat in the face of the Allied advances in the remaining days of the campaign, brave Canadians played an essential role.
"We remember those who served and Canadians continue to cherish the values for which they fought and died. These values guide much of what we do today and reflect our free and peaceful country. We must never take this for granted.
"Our triumph came with a great price. The Canadians suffered the most casualties of any divisions in the British Army Group. In the days and weeks that followed D-Day, more than 90,000 Canadians continued to fight through the summer heat of Normandy. More than 5,000 Canadians laid down their lives there in service to their country.
"The achievements of Canada's Veterans have made our country what it is today. Neither time nor distance will lessen our remembrance as we pass the torch of remembrance on to future generations. Lest we forget."
For more information on Canada's contributions to D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, visit veterans.gc.ca.
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law. For more information on the Korean War, visit veterans.gc.ca.
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Jean-Christophe de Le Rue
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs