The federal government has announced to fund any Canadian veteran, who stormed the beaches of Normandy in 1944, for their travel costs in case they choose to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in France. The announcement was made by Veterans Affairs Minister, Julian Fantino, on Sunday, who said the Conservative government is ready to pay up to $2,000 to aid surviving veterans to visit the site of the invasion which marked the turning point in the Second World War.
While making the announcement, Mr. Fantino stated that “the success achieved in Normandy is a pivotal moment in Canadian history, and is now deeply rooted in our national character.” He added that “it is a humbling honour to once again pay tribute to Canada’s brave veterans and express our gratitude on the 70th anniversary of D-day.” It was explained that the Canadian veterans who were part of the invasion at Juno Beach on June 6, 1944 were among the first of the Allied troops to breach German defences. It was remembered that on that day alone, 359 of Canada’s military were killed, 574 were wounded and 47 taken prisoner. As a result, today there are more than 5,400 Canadian graves in Normandy.