The 70th anniversary of one of the bloodiest military operations in Canadian history was marked at a sombre affair at the Square du Canada in Dieppe, France, Sunday.
"Each of us remembers the tragedy of war in our own, private way, but together, we recognize that the Allied soldiers who fought here did so valiantly, in common cause," Governor General David Johnston said in a speech. "That cause was freedom from tyranny, and we must never lose sight of the terrible price our soldiers paid in freedom's name."
He said the Canadians who fought in Dieppe were "courageous, skilled and dedicated" and that their sacrifices should never be forgotten. Of the 5,000 Canadian soldiers who landed on Dieppe on August 19, 1942, nearly 1,000 died and nearly 600 were wounded.
Johnston said those who live through war - whether they are soldiers or civilians - often carry that experience with them long after the fighting has ended.
"For many survivors, Dieppe is not some remote battle confined to the past. Rather, it lives on, vividly replaying in their hearts and their memories," he said. "Sometimes, these memories are of great bravery and heroism; sometimes, of terrible torment and singular suffering."
He also acknowledged the people of Dieppe for being "steadfast in honouring the contributions made by Canadian soldiers.
"The monument that stands here in Square du Canada is a testament to our enduring bonds - those forged in war and in peace. The people of this region have enjoyed treasured ties with Canada for over four centuries, dating all the way back to the time of Samuel de Champlain.
"Today, with this solemn ceremony, we renew that bond," Johnston said.