Queen’s community marks 80th anniversary of D-Day


Queen’s community marks 80th anniversary of D-Day

June 3, 2024


Flags on campus will be lowered to half-mast, and a wreath-laying will take place, on June 6 to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day, as we remember those who took part, gave their lives, or were injured or harmed.
D-Day was the largest amphibious and airborne invasion in history and marked a key turning point in the Second World War.

Among those active on D-Day were soldiers of the 5th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers. This group was originally formed just prior to the First World War, and was comprised of Queen’s students, staff, and faculty from the School of Mining Engineering, making them the first ‘purely university company in Canada.’ The company contributed greatly to Canada’s preparations for the Great War, and served bravely in both world wars. 

The university has made a commitment to remember them and the sacrifice that they made to ensure our freedom.

“As a veteran, and coming from a family with four generations of service to Canada, I believe that occasions like this are important. Not just for those who gave their lives, but for the wounded, the families of those who participated, and the generations that followed,” says Paul Hook, Managing Director, Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research. “CIMVHR has been at the forefront of research for over a decade. This research helps those wounded in battles, the families who share those wounds, and the nation to understand the mental, physical, and emotional sacrifices that our military has made, and continues to make, for all Canadians. The CIMVHR motto, ‘Serving Those Who Serve Us’ is a reminder of the brave soldiers who stormed Juno Beach, and those who supported from the air and sea. We do not forget the sacrifices of the many casualties that day.

Kevin Deluzio, Dean of Smith Engineering, played an integral role in the installation of the 5th Field Company memorial plinth on campus in 2017, which commemorates former members of the faculty.

“As we commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, it is crucial to remember and honour the profound contributions and sacrifices of the 5th Field Company, formed right here at Queen's University,” Dr. Deluzio says. “This unique unit exemplifies the unwavering commitment and bravery of our engineering community who not only excelled in academia but also answered the call to serve their country in its time of need. The 5th Field Company’s efforts in transforming Valcartier into a pivotal training camp at the start of the First World War and their subsequent roles in the war effort underscore the indelible impact our community has had on Canada’s military history. Their legacy continues to inspire us to uphold the values of service, dedication, and resilience in the face of adversity. Let us always remember and honour their contributions and the ultimate sacrifices made by many, ensuring that their legacy remains a guiding light for future generations.”

The university also remembers those who fell, from all sides of the conflict. Members of the Queen’s military and veteran community will lay wreaths on the 5th Field Company memorial plinth at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 6. Anyone wishing to take a moment of quiet reflection is welcome to attend.

To learn more about the 5th Field Company, visit the memorial plinth located at the corner of Union Street and 5th Field Company Lane. 

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