In Calgary on D-Day, 15,000 strong gathered outside the Herald to pray


This crowd gathered in downtown Calgary — the largest gathering of its kind at the time — to pray for Allied forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944.CALGARY HERALD ARCHIVES

When the Allied invasion occurred on D-Day, 75 years ago, much of the world held its breath. People gathered by the thousands to await news and to pray in cities around the globe, including Calgary where a ceremony was organized near the Herald building downtown. (When major events occurred decades ago, people often waited for news by standing outside newspaper offices.)

This is an excerpt from a front page story in the Calgary Herald on June 6, 1944 — D-Day:


Citizens Jam Streets for Invasion Ceremony

Canadians throughout the land bowed in prayer today for the success of Allied arms in their march of liberation into Europe. And in Calgary nearly fifteen thousand crowded silently into one block of 1st St. W. between 7th and 8th Aves. to stand with bared heads while representatives of Church and State evoked God’s blessing upon the men who are storming Hitler’s citadel of evil.

It was a solemn and magnificent sight as that mass of people — the largest in Calgary’s history ever to be so grouped together — listened in cathedral silence to the prayers for their men-at-arms on the seas, on the land, and in the air. And many thousands of that great and solemn crowd, there is no doubt, directed their own private prayers to loved ones who at this moment are offering their lives that the world may be freed and that their homes may endure.


And a warm noon-day sun shone down upon them, as though all the violent elements had stood aside to let their prayers rise unobstructed.

The great crowd gathered quietly but quickly. The service was to start at 11:35. At 11:20 the downtown stores closed their doors so that their staffs might attend. Like a lodestone, the street of the service drew them and thousands more, many of whom came from the far outskirts of the city. At 11:35 there was literally not a foot of standing room between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. Then the leader of the military band raised his baton, there was “a silence you ‘most could hear” and a second later the words of “O Canada” — this day, perhaps, the most stirring of any day past — swelled to a mighty chorus.


The crowd filled every space available in the vicinity of the speakers’ platform and it overflowed east and west along 7th Ave. From nearby office windows, as well as on top of many of the adjacent business blocks, scores looked down on the scene below.

As the crowd participated in the half-hour service and prayed for victory in the Allied invasion, there was many a tearful face and sober thought for loved ones who were making the hope of victory and peace nearer.


Around the platform many wives whose husbands were overseas in the Canadian forces had brought their little children to observe this solemn period. . .

The people of this city had responded well to the Victory loans and to other demands of war said the speaker (Ald. Chalk) and there was now only one thing for them to do.

This was to pray for the success of the invasion which would shorten the war and save needless bloodshed. . . .


(After prayers and scripture reading) there followed one minute of silent prayer as a deep hush fell over the entire crowd standing with bowed heads. . . . Singing of two hymns, “O God Our Help In Ages Past” and “Abide With Me,” was included in the service.

The A16 band from Currie barracks provided the music for the service. . . .

A number of junior and senior high schools held special services to mark the invasion.

Here’s a look at the Calgary Herald front page on D-Day:

Here’s the editorial on that day, along with a cartoon depicting Hitler:

EDITORIAL: Remember the warriors among us

Arwen~ Excellent article!

Postmedia News

Published:June 5, 2019

Sailors stand to attention on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, as they wait for the MV Boudicca to pass as it commemorates the 75th anniversary of D-Day, in Portsmouth, Britain, June 5, 2019. (REUTERS/Dylan Martinez)

The 75th anniversary of D-Day should remind us that Canada’s military heritage is more than just our contribution to peacekeeping.

There’s no denying Canada was a major player in the invention and development of peacekeeping. Prime Minister Lester Pearson was one of peacekeeping’s original architects and Canadian troops were the best peacekeepers in the world for decades.

What made our troops so good at peacekeeping was not that they were “nice guys.” Canadians excelled at peacekeeping because they commanded the respect of warring forces they stood between. Above all, those combatant forces respected the one thing they shared with Canada’s soldiers: they were warriors.

Only warriors can keep the peace, because only warriors command the respect of warring forces.

Canada’s soldiers have always been well-trained, well-led, highly-motivated and combat-capable soldiers ready and willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish the mission. Being great soldiers made them great peacekeepers.

Those same characteristics made the Canadians who stormed Juno Beach on June 6, 1944 some of the most tenacious and feared troops in the battle. By the end of that longest day, Canada’s 3rd Infantry Division had pushed furthest inland of any Allied force. They didn’t get that far by being nice.

From the Boer War to Juno Beach to Cyprus to Afghanistan, Canadian soldiers have always been warriors.

Warriors are not warmongers. They do not long for, nor start wars. Warriors are those special few amongst us who set aside self-interest, family and personal safety to do the miserable things that must be done to protect the innocent, deter evil and end wars.

For too long, Canadians have been taught the myth of peacekeeping: That Canada’s goodness and the kind, caring nature of our armed forces kept the world safe. That it was Canada’s nobility and fair-mindedness that won respect on other people’s battlefields. Not so.

Even on the mostly peaceful island of Cyprus, Canadian troops earned the respect of warring Cypriot and Turkish forces – not by being nice and fair, though they were both, but by being tough. Warring soldiers knew that shooting at the other side meant shooting past a Canadian soldier in the middle. And, shooting past a Canadian soldier meant getting shot by that Canadian soldier. Respect.

The brave veterans who stormed through hell and up the beaches of Normandy 75 years ago did not win our freedom by being nice. They won the war because they were tough, determined and lethal – and their enemies were terrified of them.

Let that always be so.

YouTube to launch politically correct purge—thousands of users to be removed

 by Libby Emmons and Barrett Wilson

YouTube has just made a chilling move to remove politically incorrect and conservative content from its platform. In a statement released today, they say, “We’ve been taking a close look at our approach towards hateful content in consultation with dozens of experts in subjects like violent extremism, supremacy, civil rights, and free speech” with this aim in mind: “reducing borderline content and raising up authoritative voices.”

YouTube also stated: “In addition to removing videos that violate our policies, we also want to reduce the spread of content that comes right up to the line.” The thing is that the line has been consistently changing. Comedians, artists and philosophers have been deplatformed for saying things that were perfectly mainstream just a few years before.

There’s a great quote by a famous wrestling villain called Rowdy Roddy Piper: “Just when they think they have the answers, I change the questions.” This is precisely what all of these social media companies are doing. It’s tragic news for the vigilant users who have been careful to not violate any policies, but may get swept up in this new purge.

The announcement comes on the heels of Vox writer Carlos Maza’s viral campaign to get conservative comedian Steven Crowder banned from the platform. Crowder’s biggest transgression is that he tells off-colour jokes.

This campaign of straight-up censorship was successful as YouTube then swiftly demonetized all of Crowder’s content.

BuzzFeed, long an advocate for censorship, totalitarianism, and ideological uniformity, reported the news with absolute glee, adding that “YouTube said it also plans to make videos from authoritative sources appear higher up in its Watch Next panel.” Well isn’t that just wonderful news for BuzzFeedVox, and all the other woke outlets that are desperate to control your speech and the culture you consume.

YouTube is basically behaving exactly like China, where the goal is not to tamp down content or individuals who do not conform, but to tamp down on everyone. If people are afraid their channel will be pulled, or their account suspended, they will change their own behaviour, no one will have to do it for them. Once everyone is living in fear, there will be no reason to police social media accounts, because users will be voluntarily policing themselves, their own content, and more importantly, their own thought process. Users will internalize the directives of the “authoritatives.” Users will not allow their minds to wander outside the lines. They won’t want to risk suspension or censorship.

Journalists in the 20th Century would sometimes remain silent on stories concerning national security, of JFK’s affairs, but this was a form of discretion. They were not reaching into other news outlets and ripping stories from the printing press. Governments and “authoritative” sources alike are concerned that the dissemination of free, independent media can be done by literally anyone.

There were no gatekeepers on social media platforms, and because of that, it’s been possible for some voices to shout others down. This is not a reason to silence the loudest among them, or shut down those that you don’t agree with. Especially since the standards of who should be shut down and why keep shifting. At issue is the definition of questionable content. Is it viral videos of beheadings? Or is it some guy in a MAGA hat picking his nose with a bayonet? Basically, they are telegraphing the future of YouTube: BuzzFeed and Vox? Yes. An independent journalist or a regular citizen? Not so much. And that sucks because we trust our fellow citizens way more than we trust BuzzFeed or Vox

There was a time when the idea of corporations, governments and activists banding together to suppress free speech would chill journalists to the bone. Now it gives them a boner. Everyone in the “authoritative” camp is all in when it comes to censoring speech on social media platforms. Perhaps this is because they think they will never be the ones being censored.

Journalists, heads of state, artists and activists who claim to be liberal have been advocating for the removal of content in the spirit of public safety. In doing this, with the big, fat hand of protectionism and righteousness, they are completely forgetting that one should never deploy political weapons you wouldn’t want in the hands of your enemies. Pendulums swing back and forth, no ideological perspective rules the day forever. Silencing speech that is distasteful now means that it will be that much easier for someone else to silence you, when the time comes that the opposing ideology is in vogue.

YouTube wants you to feel safe in trusting their “authoritative” sources and allies. But what they’re not telling you is that “authoritative” is just code for authoritarian.

President Trump joins world leaders to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day | USA TODAY

Arwen~ President Trump’s D-day speech is heartfelt and a powerful tribute. The honour and respect shown to all who fought and sacrificed , is what I expect and hope for from the leader of a nation…POTUS delivered.

A must watch.

June 6th 1944 by Mark Steyn

Seasons of Steyn
June 6, 2019

In Dennis Sullivan’s photograph above, a landing craft from HMCS Prince Henry carries Canadian troops toward Juno Beach in the early hours of D-Day. Many years ago, I spoke to someone who’d been aboard the Prince Henry’s sister ship, HMCS Prince David, who talked about the subtly different dynamic among the guys on those landing craft. The Royal Canadian Navy men at the front are concerned to make their rendezvous on time: They’re in the middle of the mission, and they want to complete it. The infantrymen behind them are waiting for theirs to start. As the Prince Henry recedes behind them, they know they’re leaving the best-laid plans, and that what awaits them on shore is about to go agley.

A lot went wrong, but more went right – or was made right. A few hours before the Canadians aboard the Prince Henry climbed into that landing craft, 181 men in six Horsa gliders took off from RAF Tarrant Rushton in Dorset to take two bridges over the River Orne and hold them until reinforcements arrived. Their job was to prevent the Germans using the bridges to attack troops landing on Sword Beach. At lunchtime, Lord Lovat and his commandos arrived at the Bénouville Bridge, much to the relief of the 7th Parachute Battalion’s commanding officer, Major Pine-Coffin. That was his real name, and an amusing one back in Blighty: simple pine coffins are what soldiers get buried in. It wasn’t quite so funny in Normandy, where a lot of pine coffins would be needed by the end of the day. Lord Lovat, Chief of Clan Fraser, apologized to Pine-Coffin for missing the rendezvous time: “Sorry, I’m a few minutes late,” he said, after a bloody firefight to take Sword Beach.

Lovat had asked his personal piper, Bill Millin, to pipe his men ashore. Private Millin pointed out that this would be in breach of War Office regulations. “That’s the English War Office, Bill,” said Lovat. “We’re Scotsmen.” And so Millin strolled up and down the sand amid the gunfire playing “Hieland Laddie” and “The Road To The Isles” and other highland favorites. The Germans are not big bagpipe fans and I doubt it added to their enjoyment of the day.

There was a fair bit of slightly dotty élan around in those early hours. I knew a chap who was in the second wave of gliders from England, and nipped out just before they took off to buy up the local newsagent’s entire stack of papers – D-Day special editions, full of news of the early success of the landings. He flew them into France with him, and distributed them to his comrades from the first wave so they could read of their exploits.

But for every bit of dash and brio there were a thousand things that were just the wretched, awful muck of war. Many of those landing craft failed to land: They hit stuff that just happened to be there under the water, in the way, and ground to a halt, and the soldiers got out waist-deep in water, and struggled with their packs – and, in the case of those men on the Prince Henry, with lumpy old English bicycles – through the gunfire to the beach to begin liberating a continent while already waterlogged and chilled to the bone.

The building on the other side of the Bénouville Bridge was a café and the home of Georges Gondrée and his family. Thérèse Gondrée had spent her childhood in Alsace and thus understood German. So she eavesdropped on her occupiers, and discovered that in the machine-gun pillbox was hidden the trigger for the explosives the Germans intended to detonate in the event of an Allied invasion. She notified the French Resistance, and thanks to her, after landing in the early hours of June 6th, Major Howard knew exactly where to go and what to keep an eye on.

Shortly after dawn there was a knock on Georges Gondrée’s door. He answered it to find two paratroopers who wanted to know if there were any Germans in the house. The men came in, and Thérèse embraced them so fulsomely that her face wound up covered in camouflage black, which she proudly wore for days afterward. Georges went out to the garden and dug up 98 bottles of champagne he’d buried before the Germans arrived four years earlier. And so the Gondrée home became the first place in France to be liberated from German occupation. There are always disputes about these things, of course: the French historian Norbert Hugedé says the first liberated building was in fact the house of M Picot. But no matter: the pop of champagne corks at the Café Gondrée were the bells tolling for the Führer’s thousand-year Reich.

Arlette Gondrée was a four-year old girl that day, and she has grown old with the teen-and-twenty soldiers who liberated her home and her town. But she is now the proprietress of the family café, and she has been there every June to greet those who return each year in dwindling numbers:

That’s the late Bill Bray and the late John Woodthorpe with Mme Gondrée on the seventieth anniversary. The Bénouville Bridge was known to Allied planners as the Pegasus Bridge, after the winged horse on the shoulder badge of British paratroopers. But since 1944 it has been called the Pegasus Bridge in France, too. And in the three-quarters of a century since June 6th, no D-Day veteran has ever had to pay for his drink at the Café Gondrée.

There were five beaches: two for the Americans, three for the British Commonweath. The Yanks, under General Omar Bradley, got Utah and Omaha; under Lieutenant-General Sir Miles Dempsey, the UK got Sword and Gold, and the Canadians Juno. But there were all kinds of other forces to hand, too. President Reagan caught something of the sweep of it in his marvelous Pointe du Hoc speech thirty-five years ago on the fortieh anniversary:

All of these men were part of a roll call of honor with names that spoke of a pride as bright as the colors they bore; the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Poland’s 24th Lancers, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, the Screaming Eagles, the Yeomen of England’s armored divisions, the forces of Free France, the Coast Guard’s ‘Matchbox Fleet,’ and you, the American Rangers.

And there were others: the Royal Australian Air Force, and their Kiwi cousins in the Article XV squadrons, and the dispossessed peoples of a continent reduced to a prison camp – the Free Belgian forces, Free Dutch, Free Norwegian, Free Czech…

They were young, but they were not children. Five years ago, I listerned to President Obama explain from Brussels that the deserter he brought home from the Taliban in the days before the D-Day anniversary was just a “kid”. In fact, he was 28 years old. I remember walking through the Canadian graves at Bény-sur-Mer a few years ago. Over two thousand headstones, but only a handful of ages inscribed upon them: 22 years old, 21, 20… But they weren’t “kids”, they were men.

Above, two years before his death, Daniel Galipeau of Huntingdon, Quebec, a sapper with the 16th Field Engineers, signs an autograph outside the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada House in Bernières-sur-Mer, opposite the beach where he landed seven decades earlier. There is a street named after him in Huntingdon.