FREDERICTON (GNB) – A New Brunswick delegation was present in Normandy on June 6 to participate in the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Allied landings, which were the prelude to the liberation of France and Europe from Nazi Germany.

"New Brunswickers are proud that the famed North Shore Regiment participated in this Allied victory and consequently contributed to bringing peace to France and Europe," said Miramichi Bay-Neguac MLA Serge Robichaud.

Robichaud, a former member of the Canadian Forces, attended the various ceremonies for Natural Resources Minister Paul Robichaud, who is also minister responsible for the Francophonie.

To mark the events of June 6, 1944, a number of ceremonies were held in Normandy, notably at the Bény-Reviers Canadian War Cemetery, Place Alphonse Noël in Tailleville, Ouistreham, the Juno Beach Centre, the Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, and Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer.

The Battle of Normandy, one of the great battles of, resulted in the landing in France of two million soldiers, including more than 150,000 on June 6, 1944.

"Seventy years after those events, we must never forget those soldiers who helped bring peace to France and Europe, at the cost of a very great sacrifice," Robichaud said.

Many New Brunswickers took part in the Battle of Normandy as members of the North Shore Regiment, which landed at Juno Beach along with their Canadian and British counterparts. The Regiment took part in the landing with the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and was then involved in the campaigns in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.

“It is hard to imagine all the suffering that was necessary to liberate Normandy and France, by those who gave their lives, those who survived, those who lost friends, brothers-in-arms, and family members,” Robichaud said. “It is also hard to imagine the suffering of the civilian population who experienced the worst hardships during the Occupation and who had to suffer death and devastation for freedom to return.”

Monuments to the Canadian Forces that participated in the landings have been erected at Graye-sur-Mer, Courseulles-sur-Mer, Bernières-sur-Mer, Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, and Langrune-sur-Mer. Most of the Canadians who died in the other operations of the Battle of Normandy are buried in the Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery.