The Canadians suffered very great losses when they went up from Sicily to the front line, particularly at Ortona in December 1943.
But they continued to fight with the Allied forces until the fall of Rome on June 4, 1944.
Perhaps it was meant to be, all attention was directed to the Italian front as the big day was being prepared here. I've been here in Normandy in my new capacity for 36 hours, but I've been here before and every single time I've come back here I've seen the maple leaf flying somewhere. It reminds me, a Canadian who has never seen war, how important it is to never forget.
And it is one of the privileges of being Governor General of Canada and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces to be able to honour those who have contributed and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
Memory, is not only important for those who have fallen, but it's important for future generations so that we remember the cost of war.