SAINT-AUBIN-SUR-MER, France (GNB) – Commemorative ceremonies were held recently in Normandy, France, to underscore the efforts and sacrifice of soldiers belonging to the North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment who died in combat on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

The provincial government was represented by Deputy Premier and Economic Development Minister Paul Robichaud, who is also the minister responsible for La Francophonie.

"It is a great honour to be here and have the privilege of participating in this ceremony, which pays tribute to Acadian soldiers who helped to liberate Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer during the Battle of Normandy," Robichaud said during a ceremony honouring the soldiers on Aug. 9.

Also during the ceremony, the community of Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer inaugurated a monument to the Acadian soldiers fallen in combat during the Normandy landing.

Robichaud laid wreaths on behalf of the provincial government and placed flags on the soldiers' graves at commemorative ceremonies in Carpiquet, Courseulles-sur-Mer and Beny-sur-Mer, France.

"This is for their sacrifice, which must never be forgotten," Robichaud said. "We must preserve the memory of those who did what they felt was their duty without regard for the incredible risks they faced. We must do this for those who courageously marched where we are standing today – we who can enjoy the pleasures of freedom that we all too often take for granted."

Of the some 24,000 Acadian volunteers, nearly 750 young people were killed while serving in the Second World War, mostly in conflicts in France, Italy and Asia.