Mr. Speaker, today, I want to pay tribute to Gilbert Boulanger, a Second World War veteran who just passed away at the age of 91. He was nicknamed “l'Alouette”, after his squadron.
During the Second World War, he was a gunner because he did not know how to fly the plane. He participated in 37 bombing missions, including two on the day of the Normandy invasion. After the war, he achieved his dream of becoming a pilot and devoted his life to his passion for aviation.
However, Gilbert Boulanger's pet cause was to promote the remembrance of veterans among Quebeckers and Canadians. He always considered himself to be the spokesman for his comrades in arms, who were far too often forgotten. He received a number of distinctions and decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the 1939-45 Star and the Air Crew Europe Star. He was a pacifist at heart and once said, “I went to war, but I am not a warrior. We won the war, but we still have not won peace”.
The “Alouette affolée”, or crazy bird, took his last flight on December 31, 2013. Let us celebrate this extraordinary man and his contribution to the duty of remembrance that should inhabit us all.