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Legion holds D-Day Memorial Service, bike ride


The annual D-Day Memorial Service was held this past Saturday afternoon, commemorating the day the Allies landed on Normandy 74 years ago on June 6. It was here local veterans, servicemen, Legion members and the community at large gathered at the Lakeside Cemetery Cenotaph for the service.
“It went very well, we had a good turnout,” said John Finestone, Past President of Royal Canadian Legion Branch #19.
It was also the third year that local and other northern bikers took part in it, hosting the third annual Memorial Day Bike Ride.
“I kind of took it upon myself to recruit people to ride in honor of our veterans and a lot of the people from The Pas Motorcycle Association as well as the Flin Flon (Motorcycle Association),” said Camille Bertholet, organizer of the Memorial Day Bike Ride. “The riders come rain or shine, because we’re remembering our veterans. They didn’t have a choice whether it was rain or shine, they went out.”
Bertholet wanted to honor her ancestors as well as other veterans when starting the Memorial Day Bike Ride, and she is happy to see more and more bikers come to the ride every year.
“I think we’re growing each year with the more awareness we have, the more bikes come and you get rid of that stereotype that people associate with crime and bikers. It’s just people who like to ride,” Bertholet explained.
As with past years there was a show of support from the community.
“We get a lot of support from the community every year. We’re surprised by how many people turn out to show their support,” said Finestone.
Local veterans were present during the service as they are each and every year.
“All our veterans turned out as usual, it was good to see them. Unfortunately their numbers dwindle each year. In other respects it’s good to see the youngster (local serviceman Trooper Daniel Connors) coming along as well,” he added.
Finestone went on to add that all support to the Legion is appreciated and they are thankful for all the support they received for the D-Day Memorial Service.
“I would just like to thank everybody in the community for turning out in support of our veterans; we look forward to anybody coming down to the Legion to see them. The Legion’s always open all year round, it’s just not one occasion of the year,” Finestone said.
D-Day, also known as the Battle of Normandy, was when the Americans, Canadians and British launched a joint invasion of France against the Germans during World War II, and it represented a significant victory for the western Allies in western Europe. An estimated 14,000 Canadians taking part in it and of those 1,074 were casualties with 359 being killed in combat while landing on Juno Beach according to the Canadian War Museum website.

Trevor Wright