To-day following breakfast in a restaurant close to our Hotel, we departed on our bus for Omaha Beach. Omaha, as explained earlier, was one of 2 American Beach Heads. We drove along the length of the Omaha Beach in the bus and then circled back to pay a visit to the location where ceremonies will take place on June 6th. I fully expect that President Obama will be a part of the June 6th events. The dedication site was being prepared for a huge audience as indicated by the significant number of chairs set up. NBC and no doubt other TV Networks were in evidence. I will now refer you to+ a Slide Show of just some of the pix I took at Omaha Beach.
From Omaha Beach we travelled to the Canadian Cemetery at Ben Se Mer, Juno Beach which was a Canadian beach. Canadian Vets and many Canadian citizens, along with many local citizens made up the audience of (guessing) 1,500 people. The veterans of the 2nd WW were seated; many others had chairs, but many of us stood throughout the Ceremony. In the pic above I have the 4 WW II Canadian Vets who were part of our Tour. Two landed on June 6th, two within days of June 6th. From right to left they are Edgar Bedard, 3rd Infantry Divison, from Sault Ste. Marie ON, landed June 6th, 1944; Arthur Boon, 3rd Infantry Division, Stratford, ON, landed June 6th, 1944; Ted Paisley* of the 4th Arm Davison, Petrolia, ON, Dispatch Rider, landed July 13th, 1944; and Neil Bell, 4th Arm Div. from Madoc ON, 23rd Field Regiment, Sexton self-propelled gun, Gunner, 36 Battery Charlie Troop, landed Jul6 26, 1944. Pic is taken in front of a Sexton Self Propelled Gun.
The PM’s wife, Maureen Harper spoke first, a Senior Officer of DND spoke next, followed by the Mayor of Benne Se Mer, Veterans Affairs Minister Fontanio; Defense Minister Nicholson; representative of the many School Children of Canada; a DND Padre offered a prayer, and the playing of the Last Post ended the Service. (see page 2 below)
Here is a pic of Lois signing the Guest Book at the Canadian war cemetery at Ben Se Mer.
Here is a pic of Yours Truly taken with Neil Bell of Madoc, ON. The young man holding the Canadian flag was a grandson of one of the Vets of our Tour.
This ended our day, 2014 06 05, and we returned to the hotel, followed by dinner in town.
We return to Juno Beach tomorrow, June 6th for a more formal Commerative Service. The PM is expected to participate.
Stan and Lois. 2014 06 05
- * Ted Bell was later honoured by his community AND by the President of France: Click here is you would like to read the story: 70th Anniversary: We told you about Edgar Bedard and Ted Paisley AND NOW we tell you about Neil Bell!! | Your Source for Shuffleboard News (theshuffler.net)