Drumheller cadets head to Juno Beach for D-Day An­niver­sary

The Drumheller Mail - - LEST WE FORGET NOVEMBER 11 - Patrick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail mailphoto by Patrick Ko­lafa

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.

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