A crowd of more than 300 people; including members of the military past and present gathered at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.
Gerald Bowen’s memory is fading with every passing year; he remembers landing on the beach in Normandy on this day 75 years ago.
“I don’t have many good memories of the actual landing,” said Bowen, “The noise, the fabulous noise. Aircrafts, ships.”
Bowen was one of more than 30 veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces honoured at the National War Memorial.
“It was remarkable we contributed more than a million men and women in uniform during the second world war,” said Andrew Leslie; the Orléans MP, who served 35 years in the Canadians Armed Forces.
The playing of the last post, followed by the laying of wreaths saw veterans saluting the monument and the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
“We feel lucky to be here in this great country, because they made it possible for us,” said Gilles Beaudoin; who wanted to pay tribute to his colleagues in the military.June 6, 2019
Retired Commander Frank Lucano served in the military for 32 years; using a walker to get around the grounds, Lucano said it was his duty to pay his respects and honour those who came before him to serve Canada.
“There's that poem I’ll always remember, ‘To me from failing hands you threw the torch.’ They did and I followed the torch,” said Lucano who served in the Korean War.
Among the veterans of the Second World War in attendance, was 95 year old John Commerford of Ottawa, he remembers hearing words of inspiration by being led into battle by Winston Churchill.
“He told the soldiers ‘When the going gets tough, the tough keep going.’ And if it gets rough for me, keep pushing,” said Commerford.
“We get a chance to connect with people, not just history books, not movies, dusty old records of the past as important as they are. But people who lived it still live it, experience it and that's irreplaceable to me,” said Stefan Conquist of National Sentry Program.June 6, 2019