WHITEHORSE—The Yukon government honours the thousands of soldiers who took part in the Battle of Normandy 70 years ago today. In the early hours of June 6, 1944 Canada participated in the world’s largest combined military effort, and with Allied forces began a three month battle that led to securing Europe’s freedom from Nazi Germany.
“I invite Yukoners to join me in recognition of the courage of Canadian and Allied forces on the shores of Normandy,” Premier Darrell Pasloski said. “D-Day was an unparalleled coordinated effort to bring liberty to Europe. This day reminds us of the sacrifices made for the democratic freedoms we have today.”
At an official commemoration ceremony at the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy, France, Yukon is represented by 20 grade-eight students. The students, from seven schools across the territory, will also have an 11-day homestay visit with families in Rots, a village liberated by Canadian soldiers in June 1944.
“This is a special opportunity for our students and an example of experiential education at its finest,” Minister of Education Elaine Taylor said. “Learning first-hand about the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers is a valuable lesson that they will bring back to their classmates and communities.”
On June 6, 1944, 156,000 Allied forces took part in the battle at Normandy. Their success came with immense sacrifice. At least 12,000 allied soldiers were killed or injured on D-Day, with more than 1,000 Canadians among them.