Ontario recognizes 60th anniversary of D-Day and Battle of Normandy with Grand Provincial Commemorative Ceremony

Archived Release

Ontario recognizes 60th anniversary of D-Day and Battle of Normandy with Grand Provincial Commemorative Ceremony

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Veterans from across the province to attend; general public welcome TORONTO, June 3 - The 60th Anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy will be observed in Ontario with a Grand Provincial Commemorative Ceremony on the south grounds of Queen's Park on Sunday, June 6, 2004, at 4 p.m. The commemoration, which will include veterans from across the province, is open to the public. "Let's honour the contribution of those who fought for us, and those who died for us," said Premier Dalton McGuinty. "But let's also honour it by cherishing the gifts they gave us and treating their legacy with the respect it deserves. May we choose to show the same courage and selflessness in our own lives. May we never take our freedom for granted." To mark D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, ceremonies will take place across the country. Ontario's official commemorative ceremony is being hosted by the government of Ontario, in partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada, the City of Toronto, Department of National Defense and the Royal Canadian Legion, Ontario Command. The Queen's Park ceremony will feature a large contingent of veterans, a large public turnout is also expected. Pre-ceremony events on Sunday afternoon include three separate marches involving veterans, soldiers, cadets, marching bands and colour parties, commencing from different locations throughout the city. They will converge on Queen's Park for the Grand Provincial Commemorative Ceremony by 4:00 p.m. Taking part in the ceremony will be: James K. Bartleman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario; John Gerretsen, Minister Responsible for Seniors; Joseph Volpe, Federal Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development; and David Miller, Mayor of Toronto. A student and D-Day veteran will also speak at the event before the laying of wreaths at the cenotaph in front of the legislature. Following the ceremony, D-Day and Battle of Normandy veterans and their guests will join the Lieutenant Governor and Premier at a reception. D-Day and the Battle of Normandy signalled a turning point in the struggle for victory by the Allied forces during the Second World War. Although the war continued until the summer of 1945, it was the invasion of Normandy - the largest combined sea, land and air offensive in history - that signalled the beginning of the end of the Second World War in Europe. "Strong and vital communities are the legacy of those who fought so bravely to preserve the freedoms we enjoy today," said John Gerretsen, Minister Responsible for Seniors. "All are welcome to attend and recognize the men and women who risked their lives to allow us to live in this great country in freedom and democracy." Additional information on D-Day and the Battle of Normandy is available on the Ontario Remembers website http://ontarioremembers.ca/ developed in recognition of the 60th anniversary and the contribution of Ontarians to the war effort. Disponible en fran├žais www.gov.on.ca/citizenship/seniors ---------------------------------For further information: Lucille Blainey, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7389; Andrea Kelly, Minister's Office, (416) 585-7210, cell (416) 993-5220