Combat boots marking D-Day anniversary end cross-country journey in Halifax

A pair of combat boots symbolizing the journey of Canadian soldiers to fight in the Second World War has arrived in Halifax as the country prepares to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.

The boots arrived this evening to an official welcome at the Halifax Via Rail Canada train station after travelling more than 5,000 kilometres across Canada and stopping in more than 17 communities.

The trip began March 29 in Vancouver at a send-off attended by veterans and Lawrence MacAulay, the minister of veterans affairs.

MacAulay said the boots are meant as a visual representation of the journey Canadians made to serve in the Second World War. Halifax was a main departure point for troops heading overseas.

About 14,000 Canadians landed at Juno Beach in northern France on D-Day, June 6, 1944, marking the beginning of the Battle of Normandy, in which 5,000 Canadians died and more than 13,000 were wounded.

The boots ceremony is the first of three official events in Halifax to mark the momentous battle.