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June 6, 2007
Toronto commemorates D-Day with ceremony at City Hall
The City of Toronto commemorated the 63rd anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy with a solemn event at City Hall’s Nathan Phillips Square today. On this date 63 years ago - June 6, 1944 - Canada took part in the D-Day invasion that marked the beginning of the liberation of France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark during the Second World War.

Mayor David Miller welcomed veterans and the public, including many students, to the event. He concluded his comments about the Battle of Normandy by officially proclaiming “Toronto Remembers D-Day, June 6, 2007.” Mayor Miller presented the proclamation to D-Day veteran Andrew Irwin, the keynote speaker. Mr. Irwin, who served as a crew member aboard the HMCS Algonquin ship on D-Day, spoke to the crowd about his experience at Normandy 63 years ago.

Among the many other veterans participating in the mid-day event were George Keddy, a D-Day veteran and senior member of the Toronto Civic Honour Guard, who read the Act of Remembrance after Reveille; Janet Watt, president of the WREN Association of Toronto; and Leo Leach of the Toronto EMS Honour Guard. Janet and Leo, accompanied by pianist William O’Hara, sang a selection of Second World War era songs before the formal ceremony. Members of St. Michael’s Choir School sang “O Canada” and “God Save the Queen”. Bugler Nigel Soper and piper Gary Ford of Toronto Fire Services Pipes and Drums performed as soloists during the ceremony. Kevin Frankish of Citytv was the master of ceremonies.

Participating honour guards and bands included the Toronto Civic Honour Guard, Toronto Police Ceremonial Unit, Toronto Firefighters’ War Veterans’ Colour Guard, Toronto Emergency Medical Services Honour Guard, Toronto Transit Commission Supervisory Honour Guard, the Royal Canadian Legion, the Navy, Army, Air Force Veterans of Canada, the Naval Club of Toronto, the WREN Association of Toronto and the Toronto Fire Services Pipes and Drums. The Toronto Mounted Police Unit’s Commemorative horses “Juno Beach” and “Vimy Ridge” were also part of the event.

A D-Day photographic display in the City Hall rotunda can be viewed until 4 p.m. on Friday, June 8. The 2007 D-Day proclamation is available at

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact: Nancy MacSween, Senior Protocol Officer, City of Toronto, 416-392-4674



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