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An archive of news articles and interviews featuring BC/Yukon branches, staff, and programs.

Message Before Departure

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I feel very honoured to be chosen by BC/Yukon Command to be the representative on this year’s Legion Youth Pilgrimage of Remembrance. I have been a Legion member for over 25 years. I served with the PPCLI [Canadian Forces] from 1986 to 1988 but due to a hip injury my career was cut short.  I became involved with the Cadet Organization and become a CIC Officer in 2002.

July 8th, 2013: The Longest Day

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When you read or see documentaries about D-Day and Canadians on Juno Beach you just imagine this little stretch of beach with the soldiers running up from the water shoulder-to-shoulder.

It is amazing to see the actual size and scope of the operation. 8 km from east to west is the area Canadian regiments came ashore. That to me was the biggest eye opener.

July 9th, 2013: The First Few Days

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Today was an interesting day. We visited the places that many Canadian Soldiers were last seen alive before they were killed. Abbaye d’Ardenne – an arch way that a group of Canadian soldiers were taken through into a garden and shot. The garden is where we had our first Remembrance Ceremony.

At Chateau d’Audrieu, a forest grove where three soldiers were shot, a wreath was placed in their honour.

July 10th, 2013: Closing The Gap

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Today was a travel day from Caen to Dieppe. We toured through the Falaise area where the Canadians closed the Gap on the 7th Germany Army. As the Germans raced to escape Normandy through the Falaise Gap, the Allies fought to close it Aug 19-21 1944.

The highlight for me today was the visit and Remembrance Ceremony at Brettville sur Laize. This is where my friend Mr Finch’s brother is buried, and I visited his grave. It was very moving.

July 11th, 2013: Operation Jubilee

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Dieppe will be debated for generations to come, but the bravery and resolve shown by the young Canadians that landed on those beaches under impossible circumstances will be forever remembered. It is amazing how many French citizens have come up to us as a group and as individuals to let us know how much they appreciate what the Canadians did to liberate France.

July 15th, 2013: Passchendale

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The First World War was a battle fought in trenches, sometimes just meters apart. In those small areas thousands of lives were lost.

Some soldiers were physically lost forever. I am amazed at how many headstones in the cemeteries are unknown. Even after almost a 100 years, shells, shrapnel, and human remains make their way to the surface. We treaded carefully in this hallowed area.

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