Visitors in the Gallery
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of Major-General Blaise Frawley, Chief Warrant Officer Donald Farr and Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired) Dean Black. They are the guests of the Honourable Senator Day.
On behalf of all honourable senators, I welcome you to the Senate of Canada.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Air Force Day on the Hill
Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals): Honourable senators, as many of you know, I have had the great privilege of hosting the men and women of the Royal Canadian Air Force here on Parliament Hill for the past several years. These gatherings provide all of us with the opportunity to thank the RCAF members for their service and to learn more about their initiatives and activities.
In the gallery today, we have representatives from the Royal Canadian Air Force, including the Deputy Commander of the Air Force, Major-General Blaise Frawley, and his colleagues.
This year’s event commemorates the seventy-fifth anniversary of D-Day. On June 6, 1944, Allied forces launched the largest military invasion in history on the beaches of Normandy.
Earlier today, the Governor General participated in the unveiling of a monument in Chambois, France, dedicated to the sacrifices made by Canadians during the Battle of Normandy.
Our air force played a key role in that battle and began their work several months before troops stormed the beaches. Squadrons belonging to Bomber Command’s No. 6 Group had been bombing key enemy targets in the area for some time. Finally, on D-Day, June 6, 1944, RCAF fighters and fighter-bomber pilots flew with Allied squadrons to protect the soldiers on the beach, both from the Luftwaffe above and the German troops on the ground.
In 1944, the Royal Canadian Air Force had 42 operational squadrons overseas, and 37 of them supported the invasion — 37 out of 42.
Our RCAF continues its long-standing commitment to safety and security to this day. Dedicated and professional members meet challenges at home and abroad with the same courage and professionalism as their forebearers. This is part of a proud tradition of Canadian airmen and airwomen.
Honourable senators, later today I invite each of you to join me at the Air Force Day on the Hill reception. This reception is sponsored by the Royal Canadian Air Force Association and will be held in our new building for the first time, in Room C-128, from 4:30 to 7:30.
I hope you will take the opportunity to thank the Royal Canadian Air Force personnel for their service, meet with them and other aerospace industry professionals. Thank you, colleagues.