It’s been 80 years since Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, marking the beginning of the end of the Second World War. Today, Canadians across the country gathered to mark that important day in history — which included 14,000 Canadians at Juno Beach and is known now as D-Day — including a ceremony at the cenotaph in downtown Barrie.

A Parade to Remember

The event in Barrie was marked with a parade that started at Mulcaster Street before making its way along Dunlop Street East to the cenotaph at Memorial Square. The parade began at 10 a.m., led by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 147, local Veterans, the Grey and Simcoe Foresters, and representatives from the Canadian Forces Base Borden.

Residents lined the streets to watch the parade, which made a significant halt at the Five Points intersection before continuing to Memorial Square. At 11 a.m., a solemn two minutes of silence were observed to honor the fallen and recognize the bravery and sacrifices of those who served.

Evening Ceremony at Military Heritage Park

As the day of remembrance continued, Barrie residents were invited to a special sunset ceremony conducted by the Grey and Simcoe Foresters at Military Heritage Park. This event, starting at 8 p.m., provided another opportunity for the community to come together and pay homage to the bravery and sacrifices of those who fought on D-Day.

Photo credits to City of Barrie

Community and Safety

To safely facilitate these events, the City of Barrie implemented several road closures from 6 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., including sections of Dunlop Street and Owen Street. The city ensured that residents were well-informed of these changes to minimize disruption.

Barrie is proud to support events and initiatives throughout 2024 and 2025 that honor the Canadian Armed Forces, fostering a community spirit that values and remembers the significant contributions of its veterans.

The 80th anniversary of D-Day in Barrie was a day filled with reflection, respect, and community spirit. From the moving parade to the evening ceremony, the events ensured that the sacrifices of those who served were honored and remembered. As Marcel Vigneault aptly put it, such ceremonies are vital in keeping the memory of these brave individuals alive and acknowledging their role in shaping the world we live in today.

For more local events and stories, visit Barrie Uncovered.

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