Storming the beaches 70 years ago

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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A single male walks to the shore line. Stops and stares into the sea. He remembers what happened 70 years ago.

There isn’t any blood — now there is peace, but the pain he feels is real. Because of him and many others who contributed, we don’t have to feel his pain.

On Friday, dignitaries and veterans from around the world gathered in Normandy, France on Juno Beach for the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

That beach is where 14,000 Canadians landed, 450 arrived by parachute and 10,000 sailors were involved.

On the first morning of D-Day, 340 Canadians died and 574 were wounded.

Within the first six days, our nation lost 1,017 soldiers and that number rose to over 5,000 by the end of the Normandy crusade.

D-Day was transformational. June 6, 1944 was the turning point in the Second World War, cracking Adolf Hitler’s western front as the Soviet troops made advances in the east.

Overall, many thousands of soldiers were killed in the three-month Battle of Normandy.

Those veterans gave up their lives for the freedom we have today.

Their courage, bravery and sacrifice should never be forgotten.

Those veterans who survive today, now in their 80s and 90s, were thanked again publically for what they did for changing this world, as they should be.

It is difficult to understand the courage it took for these soldiers in their teens to fight through minefields, barbed wire all while under fire from mortars and machine guns, but they did and helped to defeat the Nazi regime.

“It is a source of enormous national pride that Canadians played such a pivotal role in ensuring the success of the D-Day landings, one of the greatest battles of the Second World War and a turning point in the world’s history,” Harper said at the ceremony.

Many of us have never experienced war and thankfully so. Because of what these brave people did, we have peace in our country. We should never take that for granted.

It is important to take the time to remember the sacrifices these veterans who defended our freedom. They changed the course of history.

From the fallen soldiers to the ones that made it back home safely, thank you for all you have done for defending our way of life and human rights around the world.

We will remember.

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Geographic location: Normandy, France, Juno Beach

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