The recently identified remains of Canadian soldier Sgt. John Albert Collis were interred during a ceremony at the Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery in France Friday.
Collis fought in the Second World War with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry and died during Operation Spring on July 25, 1944, near the village of Verrières, according to a press release from the Canadian Armed Forces.
Veterans, dignitaries and family members attended the ceremony and watched as Collis was laid to rest alongside his comrades and thousands of other Canadian casualties of the Normandy invasion.
“The role that he played and the individual he kind of was before and during the war has really helped us learn so much about who we are and where we come from, and just how important he truly was” said Megan Gallagher, Collis’ great-granddaughter.
D-Day veteran Charles Scot Brown delivered a speech as part of the ceremony, where he urged Canadians to “walk proud.”
“Don’t be sad, they died for a good cause,” Brown said. “They’re proud and when you walk out of this hallowed ground be like these young soldiers on parade, be proud, stand tall, walk proud and said ‘I am a Canadian.’”
Collis’s remains were identified through the Department of National Defence’s Casualty Identification Program.