French youth honour Canadian soldiers who died in WW II, one name at a time

A group of young people from Normandy, France are on a journey to honour Canadian veterans.

Over the course of 3-week trip, the group will read out more than 40,000 names

Philippe Bosquain, 17, stands with Royal Canadian Air Force Master Warrant Officer Francois Dutil during a ceremony at the Saint-Hubert Garrison. (CBC)

A group of young people from Normandy, France are on a journey to honour Canadian veterans.

They raise funds for a trip to Canada every four years so they can read the names of those who gave their lives in the Second World War.

The group, called Westlake Brothers Souvenir, stopped by the Saint-Hubert Garrison on Monday.

It takes its name from three Canadian brothers — Albert, George and Tommy Westlake — who were killed soon after D-Day.

Seventeen-year-old Philippe Bosquain said it's an honour to read a selection of names from the list.

"You think about them, and you say thanks to them individually. Even if you don't really say it — just by reading the names, you say thanks to them."

Over the course of the three-week trip, the group will read aloud more than 40,000 names. (CBC)

At the ceremony, the group read out the names of 17,000 Royal Canadian Air Force members who died in the war.

"I'm quite grateful and proud of being able to read the names. Because they came for us, they're our heroes in Normandy," said Bosquain.

During their three-week trip to Canada, they'll read the names of the more than 40,000 Canadian Armed Forces members who died in the war.

François Dutil, a master warrant officer with the RCAF, told CBC News that the gesture means a great deal.

"Even if nobody is listening, they will say their names aloud to make sure they are remembered. It is that straightforward — that beautiful."

With files from Matt D'Amours


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