Corporal Dewhirst (back row), Warrant Officer Barkhouse, Cadet Nelson, Cadet Master Warrant Officer Cusveller (front row), Sergeant Maric, Captain Devine, Sergeant Low, Master Corporal Folland, Sergeant Cusveller, Lance Corporal Schiewe. (Photo contributed)

Vernon Cadets to mark D-Day in Normandy

75th anniversary to include select number from Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps

D-Day — June 6, 1944.

This date marks in history the Allied invasion of Normandy on Juno Beach during the Second World War. What is not widely known is that the Battle of Normandy was codenamed Operation Overlord, where the Normandy specific landings were codenamed, Operation Neptune.

This Allied invasion known as D-Day was the largest counteroffensive military operation in history. On D-Day, the Allied casualties reached more than 10,000, including 1,074 Canadians, of whom 359 were killed. By the end of the Battle of Normandy, more than 5,000 Canadian soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice in an operation that began the liberation of German-occupied France. What followed laid the foundation of the Allied victory on the Western Front to free Europe from Nazi control.

See: France pays tribute to local veterans

In June 2019, a select number of cadets from the 1705 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, located in Vernon, will travel to Europe to participate in the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France. Participating cadets and officers will attend the commemorative D-Day ceremony in full uniform to represent our Legion members, the Canadian Cadet Organizations, British Columbia and Canada.

“I see this trip as a great opportunity to see parts of the world that I otherwise likely wouldn’t. This will be an excellent way to experience historic locations that were objectives during Canadian military deployments,” said Cadet Master Warrant Officer Owen Cusveller. “This trip has great importance to our community as it will help give Canadian youth a sense of pride in our country. I also believe it will be very beneficial to the 1705 cadets as it will help them understand the recent past that shaped our modern day culture in both the military and civilian worlds. Lastly, this trip gives us a chance to truly honour our veterans that sacrificed everything for their country.”

See: Cadets arrive at Vernon training centre

The cadets will pay tribute, remember, respect and honour those who gave their lives to uphold the freedoms that Canadians experience today. This opportunity will bring awareness to the importance of supporting our veterans, preserving their memories and commemorating D-Day, the beginning of the end of World War II in Europe.

“For me, this trip is all about the history and culture. I have always loved both, so to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is amazing,” said Cadet Master Corporal Sarah Folland. “I think it is very important for the younger generations. My generation needs to know this history and to have the opportunity to go on a trip like this to honour our veterans in the community and pay homage to the ones that never made it home. To be able to go to Normandy, Paris and London to visit museums and see the land that our troops walked on will be educational. It is also important that the rest of the community sees what we do as a corps. Going on this trip and partaking in the 75th anniversary is a main focal point for our corps. ”

The cadets who are participating in this trip are engaged in fundraising to offset their trip costs. The group is looking for financial assistance from the community to help them achieve their fundraising goals. To support this opportunity for the cadets, please contact Sylvia Maric at sylvia.maric@shaw.ca / 778-475-2757

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