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PHOTOS: Candlelight ceremony pays tribute to 75th anniversary of D-Day in Esquimalt

Annual event honours historic day, Canadian contribution

It was 75 years ago, on June 6, that allied forces invaded Normandy and continued the process of liberating German-occupied France from Nazi control.

Hundreds paid tribute to Vancouver Island’s infantry regiment, the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) with a candlelight tribute at God’s Acre Veterans Cemetery in Esquimalt Thursday night.

Candles were laid to the left of each gravestone, paying tribute to those who served.

“It’s very moving to remember all those forefathers of ours that made our country the place it is,” said Melissa Hockey, president of the Chief and Petty Officers Association.

Hockey was there representing the Women’s Veterans.

READ ALSO: D-Day veterans revisit Normandy, recall horror and triumph

The evening’s honoured guest was Brigadier General (Ret’d) Michael E. Heppell, who was appointed Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) in 1995 and promoted to Honorary Colonel in 2000, retiring in 2010 following 42 years of service in the Army Reserve.

D-Day was the beginning of the end of Second World War and Vancouver Island soldiers were there, giving their lives for freedom. The Canadian navy, army and air force played a huge role in the landings on Juno Beach in Normandy, France. More than 14,000 Canadians from 12 regiments stormed the beach, and soldiers from Victoria’s Canadian Scottish Regiment were some of the first to shore.

The regiment originated in Victoria in 1912 and bears 42 battle honours, some almost a century old.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Combat boots begin cross-country journey for 75th anniversary of D-Day

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