On the 80th anniversary of D-Day, The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 288 in Airdrie commemorated the solemn occasion.

Retired British Armed Forces Sgt. Bill Drummond, who is the Legion's First Vice President said that the event, above all, is to pay respect and remember those who sacrificed their lives for future generations.

"Everyone was involved. It didn't matter who you were, what you were, what your profession was, everyone was involved," Drummond said. 

D-Day 1944 and the ensuing Battle of Normandy, France was the beginning of the liberation of Western Europe in World War II; The Canadian Forces would suffer the worst casualties of any division in the British Army Group. It is estimated that, 'allied casualties during the battle had also been heavy, including 18,444 Canadians, of whom 5,021 would never see their homes again.'

"Of all the divisions which formed part of Montgomery's 21 Army Group, none suffered more casualties than the 3rd and 2nd Canadian," The Canadian Government stated.

Close to 150 thousand Allied troops would land on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, with 14,000 Canadians at Juno Beach. 

When asked if ceremonies such as the one held on Thursday are still emotional, Drummond said for him it strikes a very real and raw chord. Drummond comes from a long line of military service. 

"I had a father, five uncles and three aunts who all served in the war."

According to the Government of Canada's website, both young Canadian men and women played a major role in the greatest seaborne invasion of all time. It is estimated that there were over 10,000 casualties of Allied forces on June 6, with over 1,000 of those being Canadians. 

"Over a brutal ten-week period in the stifling heat of that terrible summer, the inexperienced soldiers of the First Canadian Army fought against a powerful enemy, suffering and inflicting heavy casualties. By the third week in August, when the campaign in Normandy at last came to its end, the armies of the Nazi regime had suffered a resounding defeat, one in which Canadian regiments played a major role. In the process, Canada's troops had been forged into a highly effective army."

Events across the globe have been held in commemoration of the day since last month. A signature commemorative event is also being held in Moncton, New Brunswick, where Veterans Affairs Canada will host a ceremony in Victoria Park. A wreath-laying ceremony will also take place at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

The Battle of Normandy, from the D-Day landings, lasted until August 21, and though the battle would prove to be one of the most monumental battles in the history of World War II, Allied casualties by the end of the battle totalled over 200 thousand. Over 5,000 Canadian soldiers died. On May 8, 1945, World War II ended. 

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