On this day 79 years ago, the allied forces of Britain, the United States and Canada overtook five German-occupied beaches on the shores of France, marking the beginning of the road to victory against the Nazi Regime. The MVLP joins all Canadians in commemorating the immense contributions of our WWII Métis Veterans, among our Canadian Veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice. Métis servicemen and women fought alongside Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, united by their motivation to secure liberty, freedom, and peace.
Canadian sailors, soldiers and airmen lay in wait during the harsh storm on the eve of the D-Day attacks, preparing for the largest seaborne invasion in history. The MVLP honours the strength and courage of the 14,000 Canadian soldiers and paratroopers that fought in Normandy, defeating the enemy on the code-named Juno Beach on June 6th, 1944. With over 110 warships, amphibious tanks, specialized armoured vehicles, along with 15 fighter and fighter-bomber squadrons, the combined efforts of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade led the allied forces into the successful first attack of Operation Overlord.
Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy – the Allied forces’ plan to overthrow Hitler’s “Atlantic Wall,” which protected Germany from invasion. Juno Beach was one of the bloodiest battles during WWII. However, the Canadians, including many Métis, persevered and battled for the initial foundational victory, which paved the way for the Allied forces to liberate France and take control of the Atlantic Wall. However, success did not come without sacrifice. Three hundred fifty-nine soldiers lost their lives that day, and we honour them for their bravery and honour in defending our Homeland so that we can enjoy the freedom and peace we have today because of their efforts.
We celebrate June 6th as a defining moment in Canada’s national history, where our troops demonstrated our nation’s strength in the face of adversity on a global scale. Today, we honour our Canadian soldiers and their surviving family members for their heroic efforts, along with their sacrifices, loss and trauma that led to the victory at Juno Beach, where our troops demonstrated our nation’s strength in the face of adversity on the global scale.
Our Veterans are our Heroes today, tomorrow and forever.
Lest we forget.