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Friday, June 7, 2019

Walkerton Legion Holds Ceremony For 75th Anniversary of D-Day

Brockton | by Robyn Garvey  

Many turn out for moving event commemorating those who served in area.

In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Walkerton Royal Canadian Legion held a very moving ceremony that was shared with the public.

D-Day will forever be etched in Ruth Critchfield memories, she grew up in Brighton along the English Channel and remembers the day well.

As a young girl she was performing at the British Legion that day with other children and noticed almost all of the men in town were gone.

Critchfield says she later found out the men including her brother-in-law and his father where out on their fishing boats trying to rescue D-Day soldiers that could be saved.

Every year Critchfield comes to the cenotaph on D-Day to remember and pay tribute, saying she doesn’t think she could get through the day if she didn’t.

The significance of D-Day is not lost on Walkerton Royal Legion Seargeant at Arms Phil Englishman.

He refers to D-Day as the start of the end of the war.

Englishman a Holocaust survivor was liberated in Holland by the Canadian soldiers at the age of five.

Englishman says he will forever be grateful.

Walkerton Resident Betty Stemler says D-Day was a day of excitement for her and her classmates.

That was because she said everyone believed D-Day would end the war.

Stemler who was Betty Litt at the time says she remembers the principal announcing the war was almost over and a fire truck pulled up in front of her school.

She and her classmates boarded the truck waving flags and cheering as they drove around Walkerton.  (grade 10)

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 102, 1st Vice President Pat McNinch is pleased so many people came out to attend the D-Day Service.

As part of the program, the name and age of every World War II soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice from Walkerton, Cargill, Greenock, Formosa and Mildmay was read out. (34 names)

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