On Friday 6 May 2016, the Juno Beach Centre’s Canadian team hosted a special reception to mark the 71st anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. We were thrilled to host veterans, currently serving military personnel, elected officials, students, and esteemed guests at the Manitoba Legislature.
Gimli High School student Lauren Lebleu spoke of completing “the Ultimate Canadian Pilgrimage” with recent visits to Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach. Second World War veteran Paul Martin, who landed on Juno Beach on June 6, 1944, reminded those gathered of the price of freedom.
“Since the beginning of time, men have been willing to fight and die for freedom. We were young, and we fought, and we did the best we could. It is with sadness that I said goodbye to my friends on Juno Beach. Let us always remember those that gave all they had for what we have today.”
James Bezan, MP for Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman reminded us of the importance of remembering both those who have served and those who continue to serve.
“We know that they fought, and are fighting, for our values. That incredible service is something that each and every one of us must thank them for every day of the year. We are better off because of their service. We will remember those that have fallen and be grateful to the men and women who continue to serve to ensure that evil and tyranny are kept from our shores.”
Special thanks also to MLA Jeff Wharton and Master Seaman (Ret’d) Jon Reyes, the Special Envoy for Military Affairs in Manitoba, and to members of the Fort Garry Horse and Royal Winnipeg Rifles for attending.
A big thank you to everyone who came out to the reception at the Leg for welcoming the Juno Beach Centre’s Canadian team and From Vimy to Juno to Winnipeg, a city with such a rich military history.