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Youth reflect on D-Day in the Vietnam era

The Story

War is very much on the minds of Canada's young people, but not the Second World War. It's 1969, and the current conflict in Vietnam is their only experience of war. That might explain why some are so dismissive of D-Day. For a 25th-anniversary documentary, the CBC asks several teens about D-Day's significance to them. "It was an invasion, that's it," says one young man. "Doesn't mean anything, just means another war." 

Medium: Television
Program: Newsmagazine
Broadcast Date: June 3, 1969
Host: Norman DePoe
Duration: 6:30

Did You know?

• CBC began marking the anniversary of D-Day ten years later, in 1954. That year, Matthew Halton returned to Juno Beach to recall his experiences there.

• The first significant CBC Television documentary on D-Day was produced 20 years after the invasion, in 1964. Radio and TV specials were also produced in 1969. The next big anniversary was 40 years later, and the 50th anniversary was even bigger.

• Many of the soldiers fighting on D-Day were scarcely older than the teenagers in this clip. The Canadian Army established the Canadian Technical Training Corps to train teenage recruits during the Second World War. The youngest were 16 years old, and some even younger lied about their age to get into the military.

• Only 45 per cent of Second World War soldiers held a high-school diploma.

• About 5,000 Canadians in total died during the three-month course of the Normandy campaign; 18,000 more were injured.




D-Day: Canadians Target Juno Beach more