Re­mem­ber­ing the vet­er­ans

New Water­ford Le­gion host­ing D-Day cer­e­mony on June 6

Cape Breton Post - - Glace Bay/New Waterford & Area - BY SHARON MONT­GOMERY-DUPE smont­gomery@cb­

Mem­bers of the New Water­ford Le­gion say time is run­ning out to thank the Sec­ond World War vet­er­ans.

“We only have so many left from the Sec­ond World War and if we don’t start ac­knowl­edg­ing them now — tak­ing the time to sit down and talk with them — it’s go­ing to be too late,” said Ge­orge McLel­lan, a spokesper­son for branch 15 le­gion.

“It’s a repet­i­tive state­ment to say ‘We’re los­ing our vet­er­ans’ but we are and it’s not go­ing to be too long when we don’t have any left. They are part of our his­tory. If you want to say thank-you, now is the time.”

McLel­lan said there are six or seven Sec­ond World War vet­er­ans still re­sid­ing in New Water­ford.

He said the pub­lic can spend time with the vet­er­ans at D-Day cel­e­bra­tions to be held at the New Water­ford le­gion on Tues­day, June 6 at 1 p.m. Ev­ery­one is re­quested to be seated by 12:45 p.m. A cer­e­mony will be fol­lowed by re­fresh­ments and en­ter­tain­ment.

McLel­lan said he re­mem­bers a cer­e­mony a num­ber of years ago talk­ing about the last known sur­viv­ing First World War vet­eran, John Bab­cock of On­tario. Bab­cock died Feb.18, 2010.

“We were talk­ing about him one year and the next year he was gone. Right now there’s a chance to say good­bye and thank-you to our vet­er­ans at the same time.”

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the in­va­sion of Nazioc­cu­pied Europe be­gan with Al­lied armies from the U.S., Bri­tain and Canada land­ing on the coast of Nor­mandy, France. The Cana­dian as­sault troops stormed ashore to face the Ger­man strongholds and mined beaches. June 6 was a turn­ing point in the Sec­ond World War and led to the lib­er­a­tion of Europe and the de­feat of Nazi Ger­many.

A to­tal of 14,000 Cana­di­ans stormed Juno Beach on D-Day. More than 350 Cana­dian lives were lost and more than 1,000 Cana­di­ans were wounded.


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