The Canadian tradition of fighting in wars for freedom and democracy and to end tyranny is a proud part of our history and mercifully, it somehow manages to continue to this very day to some extent. 

In the Second World War, which started when Canada declared war on Germany in 1939, Canada suffered over 45,300 deaths in action, fighting for our country and our way of life against a tyrannical dictatorship, over a period of nearly six years. 

On this date in 1944, Canada sent over 15,000 troops to battle and hundreds of our Canadians were killed, injured, or captured in one day—the D-Day Invasion.  Canada and the Allies obviously won the war nearly a year later, after many more casualties ensued.  And we owe it to the soldiers who died and the families of those who gave their lives—and we owe it to our country—to remember that day in our history—as a proud part of our Canadian heritage. 

STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER MARKING THE 63RD ANNIVERSARY D-DAY

June 6, 2007
Heiligendamm, Germany

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement regarding the 63rd anniversary of the D-Day invasion:

“June 6th looms large in Canada’s history. Today we mark the 63rd anniversary of one of history’s greatest battles – D-Day – and we honour the Canadian heroes who fought and died there.

On June 6th, 1944, tens of thousands of Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen took part in what remains the most important seaborne invasion of all time. Its purpose was to land the military might of Canada and her allies, from there to begin the long and laborious campaign that eventually freed Europe from Nazi tyranny.

It is essential that as a nation, we remember the ordinary Canadians whose extraordinary courage and sacrifice made D-Day a success – the turning point of the Second World War.

From coast to coast – from villages and farms, cities and towns, and from every corner of Canada – came these hometown heroes who risked everything in the defence of their country and the advancement of freedom.

On the anniversary of the D-Day landings it is our responsibility – and our privilege – to pay proper tribute to the Canadians who fought that day, including the more than two thousand who never came home.

We will never forget the sacrifice they made – or fail to defend what they fought for.”