Today marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The raid was a defining moment in the Second World War.  

Students and staff from St. Michael Catholic High School and St. Mary Catholic High School are at Juno Beach to take part in the ceremony. The group visited the site for the first time on Tuesday and met three veterans on the beach.

St. Mike’s teacher Chris Finner says the students chatted with them, shook their hands and thanked them for their sacrifice. He noted the trip has been eye-opening for the students.

Finner says to actually put your feet in the sand and see the distance the men had to come through the water to get to the beach and standing where the defenses were for the Germans is powerful. He says it makes the war come alive for the students and they’re moved by it.  

He says the trip to France touched on both World Wars. The students also visited Dieppe and Vimy.

Finner says watching the veterans coming in for the ceremony with their walkers, canes and wheelchairs makes you realize how important it is to remember. He noted it’s easy to put stuff like this in the back of your mind and forget about it, so the goal is to pass the torch to the students and have them understand how significant it is, and pass that along to their classmates.

Finner says the hope is that we don’t make the same mistakes made in the past.