Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, MP Saanich-Gulf Islands, today marks the anniversary of D-Day, the allied landings in Normandy, France, designed to establish a bridgehead on the western flank of the Axis powers. This successful military assault eventually led to the liberation of France and Western Europe.
“Canadians played an enormous role in the D-Day landings, which we should never forget and always be proud of,” said May. “So many gave their lives to fight against Nazi dictatorship and aggression. We owe it to them to protect the values and traditions they fought for, including our democracy, and build a more peaceful world.”
Fourteen thousand young Canadians stormed Juno Beach on D-Day. The battle cost 340 Canadian lives with another 574 wounded. John Keegan, the eminent British historian and author of Six Armies in Normandy, had this to say about the Canadian 3rd Division on D-Day: “At the end of the day, its forward elements stood deeper into France than those of any other division. The opposition the Canadians faced was stronger than that of any other beach save Omaha. That was an accomplishment in which the whole nation could take considerable pride.”
More than a million Canadian men and women were in uniform during the war. Most of them went to war voluntarily even though Canada was in little imminent danger from Nazi Germany, Italy, or Japan. The D-Day landings were the clearest sign of Canadians’ commitment to and engagement with the rest of the world.
“Martin Luther King said that a man who is not willing to die for something is not fit to live,” said John Percy, Green Party Veterans Affairs Critic. “Our freedom was not free. It was paid for in the blood of a generation that we could scarcely afford to lose, that of our nation’s