June 2014 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Seven decades ago Allied forces completed a landing on French beaches in the Normandy region. This was the seminal event in June 1944 during which Allied naval and army forces landed on the coast of France to begin the long, bloody and ultimately successful fight to liberate Europe. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News (CBC News) Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge hosts the selected moments of CBC News’ coverage of the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
This commemorative documentary includes the 2014 ceremonies at Juno Beach, which includes speeches by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, The Prince of Wales and Canadian Forces Major-General (Ret.) Richard Roemer.
Included on the DVD are seven additional reports. The Veterans presents personal accounts of WWII Canadian military personnel, one of whom was a ‘Lanc’ mid-upper gunner. In a segment titled The Lancaster Peter Mansbridge focuses on the Canadian Warplane Heritage Avro Lancaster and interviews a former rear gunner; he additionally describes how Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Air Force Lancasters pounded targets in and around Normandy before during and immediately after D-Day to support Canadian regiments.
David Common, in the fourth episode, presents a feature (Love Story) about a Women’s Royal Canadian Navy Service (‘Wren‘) member who was perhaps the first Canadian to visit the primary Canadian cemetery in Normandy. Another report (The Photo) focuses on an Ontario teacher who conveys a passion for related history. The Return is a melancholy instalment about a Jewish boy and the Polish man who saved the child and his parents from German troops and thereby the Holocaust. The last presentation is D-Day Students, which is about school children in Regina, Saskatchewan who regularly honour the memories of WWII veterans killed in action.
This highly recommended video represents living history, and effectively and conveys the solemnity of the ceremonies honouring Canada’s WWII war dead and the survivors, now of advanced age, who continue to relive the immensely important and terribly costly days of 1944. D-Day: 70 Years is a most appropriate tribute.
This reviewer (John Stemple) thanks CBC News.
D-Day: 70 Years, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News, DVD, 2014.