OTTAWA, June 6, 2019 /CNW/ - The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy:
In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, Canadian soldiers stormed onto Juno Beach in occupied France with the goal of breaching Nazi Germany's "Fortress Europe." D-Day, and the Normandy Campaign that followed was a pivotal chapter of the Second World War, marking the beginning of the liberation campaign in Western Europe as the Allies pushed back the occupying German forces.
"The massive Allied landings in northern France – codenamed operation Overlord – involved the three branches of Canada's military. The Royal Canadian Navy helped clear paths for Allied ships through German naval minefields, ferried soldiers ashore and shelled German positions. In the skies over Normandy, Royal Canadian Air Force squadrons fought enemy warplanes and struck at German coastal and inland defensive positions.
"In the days after the assault on Juno Beach, Canadian troops withstood fierce counterattacks. Through the hot summer of 1944, the Canadians fought the Germans, taking the French city of Caen in July and helping end the Normandy Campaign with the fierce fighting at the Falaise Pocket in August.
"With the Allied liberation of Paris on August 25, 1944, the Battle of Normandy officially came to an end. It was an important step towards the Allied victory in the Second World War. We live in a country strong and free today thanks in large part to brave Canadians like those who fought in Normandy, those who gave so much to help achieve peace.
"Lest we forget."
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468, [email protected]; Alex Wellstead, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, [email protected]; Media Relations, Department of National Defence, Phone: 613-996-2353, Email: [email protected]; Todd Lane, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of National Defence, (613) 996-3100, Email: [email protected]