Drumheller cadets head to Juno Beach for D-Day Anniversary
This May, 16 Drumheller Sea Cadets will have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the brave men who landed on Juno Beach 75 years ago.
The cadets have been actively fundraising for the 9-day excursion that will be departing at the end of May for the 75 anniversary of the D-Day landing on June 6.
Cadet Katie Hanik said they learned of the excursion a few months ago when the executive of the Local Cadet Corps attended an event in Ottawa. They have partnered with cadets from Vancouver Island and will be the only Alberta Sea Cadets at the international event.
The event is called ‘ In Their Footsteps’ and participants will undertake a re-enactment of the D-Day Landing. Those attending the ceremonies will land on Juno Beach in a watercraft, literally walking in the footsteps of the soldiers that landed there 75 years before them. There they will be laying a wreath.
Two of Hanik’s great-grandparents fought there. “I am really looking forward to standing on the same soil my grandfather’s fought on,” she said. “I feel it is going to be very impactful. We are going to be learning about what they went through and what their lives were like. I think it is going to be an incredible opportunity.”
Each cadet had to write an essay when they applied to be included on the trip, and all were successful.
Another large component to the trip was fundraising. The cadets have been very busy fundraising, including its successful goat fundraiser. The Drumheller Rotary Club also stepped up to help with a donation of $3,000.
“Rotarians quickly jumped at the opportunity to assist the Sea Cadets in this outstanding life experience, an experience that will remain with them the rest of their lives,” said Rotary president Stacey Gallagher.
They have been able to raise the funds needed to cover the basic costs, and are hoping to earn some more to help cover extra expenses. Along with the ceremony, they are planning to visit the Churchill War Rooms, and arrangements are being made to have a veteran accompany them on tours, including cemeteries and battlefields.
The Sea Cadets recently received a $3,000 donation from the Rotary Club to assist with their fundraising effort to go to Juno Beach next spring to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Rotarians Stacey Gallagher and Graham Giffin present the cheque.