“Tomorrow we mark the 68th anniversary of D-Day, the allied invasion of Normandy that marked the beginning of the march toward the liberation of Europe.
“On the morning of June 6, 1944, over 150,000 members of Allied forces from Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Free France and Poland landed on the northern coast of France with one goal in mind: to break Nazi Germany’s stranglehold on the continent.
“With great courage and determination, 25,000 members of the Canadian military took part in the largest amphibious assault the world has ever witnessed, playing a major role in the mission’s success. The seizing of Juno Beach would become one of Canada’s most renowned military victories and was a key part in one of the greatest battles of the Second World War.
“As we mark this anniversary, we commemorate the thousands of brave and selfless Canadians – heroes one and all – who fought so tirelessly, and we pay tribute to those soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“This day also affords us an opportunity to thank the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who continue to serve with great pride and distinction around the world in areas including Afghanistan, as well as their families who support them. Let us also reflect upon the great sacrifices they make every day to defend and uphold our most cherished values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
“On behalf of all Canadians, I wish to express our most sincere and heartfelt thanks to all our Veterans. Through their valour, courage and selflessness, they have helped forge our place in the history books and shape our great country.
“Lest we forget.”