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Mayor's office to pay for Juno Beach markers honouring soldiers

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The Juno Beach Centre in Normandy, France.

WAYNE CUDDINGTON / POSTMEDIA NEWS FILES Enlarge Image

The Juno Beach Centre in Normandy, France.

The office of Mayor Sam Katz is paying for 16 markers to honour the Winnipeg men who died on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.

The markers, each costing $500, will be installed on the grounds of the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy, France.

"It’s extremely important to acknowledge those who fought for freedom and made the greatest sacrifice," Katz told reporters this morning. "It’s long overdue and I’m very pleased we can play a small role in this."

The markers will be made of Canadian maple, with a plaque on top indicating the soldier’s name, hometown and regiment.

The June 6, 1944 assault on the beaches of Normandy by Allied forces was dubbed D-Day. More than 14,000 Canadians took part in the assault – 359 Canadians died on the beach the first day.

The markers honouring their sacrifices will be made of Canadian maple, with a plaque resting on top indicating the soldier’s name, hometown of Winnipeg and regiment.

"I commend the Juno Beach Centre for its commitment to create a striking visual memorial to remind the world of each individual sacrifice, as well as the gravity of Canada’s loss," Katz said.

The tribute marker will be placed on the beach, part of the Juno Beach Centre, before the June 6 anniversary and remain there until Remembrance Day, Nov. 11, 2014.

"The Juno Beach Centre greatly appreciates and applauds the support of Mayor Sam Katz and the City of Winnipeg," said Don Cooper, president of the Juno Beach Centre Association. "Winnipeg’s sacrifices on D-Day were not unlike so many other cities across Canada. We hope others will be inspired by this example and honour the memory of their own local fallen soldiers."

The names of the 16 men, ages ranging from 21 to 31 when they died, are:

  • Lieutenant Lloyd Herman Adams
  • Lieutenant Richard Edward Christmas
  • Lance Corporal Victor George Henry Conway
  • Rifleman Edward John Copeland
  • Flying Officer Melsolm Henry Walter Gee
  • Rifleman Robert Moirs Gislason
  • Private George Henderson
  • Gunner William Arthur Higgs
  • Rifleman Frank Holmes
  • Private Fleming Ladd Irving
  • Sapper Arthur Herbert Johnson
  • Sergeant Percy S. Parkes
  • Rifleman Emil Saruk
  • Rifleman James S. Talbot
  • Corporal Joseph John Edward Tompkin
  • Rifleman Edward Wladyka

History

Updated on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 10:29 AM CDT: Updates with comments from Katz

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