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St. Aubin remembers D-Day

The Story

In this town, the children sing "O Canada" and can tell you what Canadian regiments landed where on D-Day. But this isn't St. Boniface, St. Catharines or Saint John. It's St. Aubin-sur-Mer, a seaside village at Juno Beach where the Canadians came ashore in the debarquement 50 years ago. CBC reporter Dan Bjarnason learns about the invasion's lasting impact on the village and its inhabitants.

Medium: Television
Program: Prime Time News
Broadcast Date: June 3, 1994
Guests: Bernard Grule, Gerard Guillot, Jacques Marcherand
Reporter: Dan Bjarnason
Duration: 6:39

Did You know?

• St. Aubin-sur-Mer is on the extreme east edge of Nan Sector of Juno Beach. It's where the North Shore Regiment of New Brunswick came ashore, backed up by the 10th Armoured Regiment (also known as the Fort Garry Horse). There were about 100 German defenders there who had been unaffected by the initial bombardment, and fighting was heavy. A reserve battalion, le Régiment de la Chaudière, came ashore next.
• The town is home to several monuments to the Canadian units who fought there: the North Shore Regiment, the Chaudières, the Fort Garry Horse, the Royal Canadian Artillery and Royal Canadian Engineers. A Canadian flag flies near the seawall and the German bunker, with a rusting 50-mm anti-tank gun inside, is still there.
• In 1996 the population of St. Aubin-sur-Mer was about 1,800.
• Each year the Comité du Débarquement (6th of June Committee) organizes a ceremony commemorating D-Day in the villages of Normandy. The ceremony site changes from year to year.
• In 2004 the Canadian ceremony was scheduled to take place at the Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles-sur-Mer. A large international ceremony was planned for the village of Arromanches on Gold Beach.
• German Chancellor Helmut Kohl was not invited to France in 1994 for the 50th anniversary commemoration of D-Day. Ten years later relations between the former enemies had improved. French President Jacques Chirac invited German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to take part in 60th anniversary events, along with about 15 other world leaders.



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