Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour the courage and sacrifice of our Canadian Forces. On this day, 59 years ago, they set foot on a section of the Normandy coast, code-named Juno Beach, and took part in the initial assault of Operation Overlord that led to the liberation of Europe.
More specifically, I would like the House to join me in acknowledging the contribution of some special Canadian soldiers who took part in the D-Day operation and were stationed in my hometown, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles.
The soldiers of the Winnipeg company who were ordered to land at the western edge of the beach paid a large price for victory. Their landing craft came under brisk gunfire while they were still far offshore. Many men died the instant they waded into the chest high water.
Nonetheless, the survivors advanced past the beach defences, cleared the minefields, and occupied the adjoining coastal villages. In a few hours, the company lost almost three-quarters of its men, but victory was theirs.
They died for us, for our children, and for our freedom. We shall always remember them.