“If we’re going to preserve the sanctity of this hallowed ground and honour the memory of the soldiers who fought and died on D-Day, we need Canadians like you to speak up so our politicians will step up.” – A Message from a group of Canadian citizens called Save Juno Beach’
A Brief Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted on the Anniversary of D-Day, June 6th, 2022 on Niagara At Large
Seventy-Eight years ago this June6th, thousands of young Canadians joined their British and American allies in storming the beaches of Normandy, France in an epic military assault against Hitler’s fascist forces.
It was D-Day, also known as Operation Overlord, and the stretch of French shoreline where more than 1,200 Canadians soldiers lost their lives in that historic assault continues to be known as Juno Beach.
Every year, on the anniversary of the assault, many Canadians, including some of what are left of the veterans and their relatives, gather at June Beach with citizens of France and other countries in Europe and around the world to remember and pay tribute to those who fought and died here.
But this year and last, the remembrances come with concern and anger over plans by a developer to build condos along Juno Beach – on some of the same hallowed lands where the historic battle took place. And the condominium developer is moving forward with this desecration of this place with the at lease enough support from French government representatives, locally and nationally, to keep its unconscionable plan alive.
Can you imagine that?
A developer zeroes in a stretch of land near a scenic body of water – a place where members of the public like to gather for peace of mind and enjoyment – and regardless of any historic significance or of any value as a place for nature to flourish – they unveil plans to cover it over with asphalt and concrete and glass boxes. And they almost always do it with the support of enough politicians to keep the plan on track.
I’m sure that at least some people in Niagara can think of examples of places where that that has happened or is still in the process of happening here.
On this anniversary of D-Day, I raise the example of Juno Beach because it is an extraordinary example of irresponsibility and heartlessness, fueled by naked greed, on the part of developers and those in government who enable them.
There is still a chance to save June Beach from this gross act of vandalism and you can find out more about how you can help by visiting the website of a group of Canadians called ‘Save Juno Beach’.
You can visit the group’s website by clicking on – https://www.savejunobeach.ca/ .
To read a CBC story on this issue, click on – https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/juno-beach-condo-development-1.6381018
To watch a CBC report on this issue, click on the screen immediately below –
To watch Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, attending a gathering of D-Day veterans and others on June Beach during the 75th anniversary of the assault in 2019, click on the screen immediately below –
A Brief Final Note from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –
Can you imagine how Americans and their political leaders would react, and how much pressure they would be placing on French government authorities, if developers proposed building condos on Omaha or Utah Beaches in Normandy where their troops fought during the D-Day landing?
It would be as if the Second World War had started all over again.
So come on Canada. Stand up and stop this!
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