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Legion branch in Nanaimo will remember fallen on 80th anniversary of D-Day

Ceremony at East Wellington Road cenotaph this week to include scheduled flyover
The cenotaph at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 256 on East Wellington Road in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)

With the 80th anniversary of a landmark Second World War campaign next month, the Royal Canadian Legion in Nanaimo plans to pay tribute to the fallen.

D-Day, when the Allied forces, including Canadians, invaded Normandy in an effort to liberate France and Western Europe, took place on June 6, 1944, and Legion Branch 256 will hold a memorial at its cenotaph on 1630 East Wellington Rd. on Saturday, June 8 at 10 a.m.

Gavin Cooper, an historian, and Tony Pearson, a veteran who was present at D-Day, will be among the speakers. There will be a full legion tribute with the Pacific Gael Pipe Band, a colour party and flyover, the branch stated in a press release.

“The 1944 Battle of Normandy – from the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944 through to the encirclement of the German army at Falaise on Aug. 21 – was … the scene of some of Canada’s greatest feats of arms. Canadian sailors, soldiers and airmen played a critical role in the Allied invasion of Normandy, also called Operation Overlord, beginning the bloody campaign to liberate Western Europe from Nazi occupation,” the press release stated.

During the invasion, 4,000 Allied troops lost their lives, the legion said.

Dignitaries and guests will be seated beginning at 9:30 a.m. and an open house and refreshments will be served after the ceremony. There will be opportunities to lay a wreath or speak at the ceremony, but Branch 256 asks that people RSVP indicating they would like to do so.

Branch 256 will also hold a memorial commemorating the Korean War Armistice on July 27.

For more information, contact the branch at 250-754-8128.

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