Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, will attend ceremonies in Dieppe, France, from August 19 to 20, to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Dieppe Raid.
The Governor General will join the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, who will lead an official delegation to France from August 17 to 21, which includes Veterans who participated in the Dieppe Raid.
While in France, the Governor General, Minister Blaney and the Canadian delegation will attend a number of commemorative ceremonies including the Government of Canada’s signature event at Canada Memorial Square on August 19 and a ceremony at the Pourville Memorial on August 20.
In addition to the ceremonies taking place in France, there will also be a ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, as well as a number of events in communities across the country.
The raid on Dieppe, France, on August 19, 1942, was a pivotal moment in the Second World War. With virtually all of continental Europe under German occupation, the Allied forces faced a well-entrenched enemy. A method had to be found to create a foothold on the continent, and the raid on Dieppe offered invaluable lessons for the successful D-Day invasion in 1944, saving countless lives in that momentous offensive.
The Dieppe Raid was particularly devastating to the Canadian military. Of the nearly 5,000 Canadians who embarked on the operation, less than half returned to England, many of whom were wounded. There were 1,946 prisoners of war and 913 who lost their lives.
The Canadians who fought in the Dieppe Raid sacrificed much in their efforts to help bring freedom and democracy to the people of France and Europe. Their task was a difficult and costly one, but their effort was not in vain.
Lest we forget.