It was the day that turned the tide for allied forces, the day troops launched the largest combined military assault of World War II in what would be the first step to ending the German strong hold in Europe.
In the early morning hours on June 6, 1944, Canadian forces landed on Juno Beach in Normandy, France;
for many, the beach would be their eternal resting place, all in the name of freedom.
And while North Bay Veteran Ab Dennis was not in Normandy the memory of war and fallen men is never far away.
“I wasn’t in Normandy but I was overseas. I was in the Air Force, it just sends chills up and down your spine, you know, it really and truly it does, every time every year," Dennis said today during D-Day anniversary ceremonies in North Bay.
"No matter what memorial service we’re at, here or at memorial services in England with my old squadron, it just sends chills up and down my spine… there are so many guys not coming back… you know.”
With so many aging veterans passing away, the idea of “We Shall Never Forget” has Dennis concerned. He hopes today’s youth understand what happened in Normandy and the rest of Europe.
“I hope that they realize…really… what went on 60 years ago… they probably do otherwise they wouldn’t be here… I don’t think. I hope the young ones that were here today never have to participate in a war. It’s just not the nicest thing in the world I’ll tell you that…not the nicest…”
The D-Day invasion would see a huge cost to Canadian troops 340 deaths, 574 wounded, and 47 captured: greatest sacrifice for the liberation of France and freedom for the world.