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June 6, 2008
Toronto commemorates D-Day with ceremony at City Hall
The City of Toronto commemorated the 64th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy at City Hall’s Nathan Phillips Square today. On this date 64 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 young students, to the event. He concluded his comments about the Battle of Normandy by officially proclaiming “Toronto Remembers D-Day, June 6, 2008.” Mayor Miller presented the proclamation to D-Day veteran Jan de Vries, the keynote speaker. Mr. de Vries spoke to the crowd about his experience at Normandy in 1944.

Among the many other veterans participating in the today’s 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. Watt and Leach sang a selection of Second World War era songs before the formal ceremony, then Leach sang O Canada to open the ceremony, accompanied by pianist William O’Hara. Watt later sang God Save the Queen. Bugler Nigel Soper and Pipe Major Ian K. MacDonald (Toronto Police Pipe Band) 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, Navy, Army, Air Force Veterans of Canada, Naval Club of Toronto, Naval Officers Association of Canada/Toronto branch, Toronto Sea Cadet Alumni Association, Navy League Cadet Corps Ark Royal, Wren Association of Toronto, Toronto Police Pipe Band, and Toronto Fire Services Pipes and Drums.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and 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 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Idalina Lima Matias, Protocol, City of Toronto, 416-392-6745,



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