Mr. Speaker, there is something unique about the event to which we will be travelling on Friday. It is unique in the way that the emphasis for this development came not from governments but from the veterans themselves.
The veterans saw that there was a compelling need to preserve the memory and to tell the story of Canada's military and civilian contributions during World War II. To date there has been no significant Canadian memorial anywhere that ranks these achievements, not until a select group of veterans got together and went ahead and built this fine facility, which will be officially opened Friday, June 6, one year ahead of the 60th anniversary of June 6. I am indeed very proud to recognize this 59th anniversary and I am indeed proud to be able to represent Her Majesty's loyal opposition.
This is a dream come true for thousands of veterans. We in the House of Commons have many people to thank. Mainly we thank the veterans of Canada, and we also say thanks for the provincial help, as the minister has mentioned, and the federal help. Let us also remember that there was one unarmed group of the military there and that was our Merchant Marines. We shall never forget that. Let us also pay tribute to the groups of individuals, the businesses and the corporations that also gave money for this event.
I knew some of the men who went on the Juno raid in 1944. One of the interesting things is that last year at this time we visited Dieppe and some of the returnees who were not slaughtered at Dieppe were also on this raid, as well as those from north Africa and the Italian campaign.
It is an honour and a dream come true and this monument will serve for many generations.
Already there and also on their way there are groups of Merchant Marines. The House on May 19 gave first reading to Bill C-411, which would enact a Merchant Marine Navy Day on September 3 every year. I would be grateful, and I think the Merchant Marines who were there would be grateful, if the House would have both second and third reading of the bill, and I would ask for unanimous consent. Then they could have their day recognized while they are there and by the time they return.