All across the country this weekend civilians along with military members will hold ceremonies to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, a key battle in the Second World War.
The national ceremony will take place on Parliament Hill on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 12:45 p.m. The commemoration ceremony will be highlighted by a fly-past of vintage Second World War aircrafts and current RCAF aircrafts including the CF Snowbirds. The anniversary will also be observed with a parade of RCAF Air Cadets and Second World War veterans marching to the pipes and drums of the Central Band of the CAF and RCAF.
The fly-past is weather permitting.
Children and adults alike can dive into the past and learn more about the Battle of Britain with static displays on Parliament Hill of a replica Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire or climb aboard a CF-18 Hornet and speak to a pilot. Interpreters in period costumes will also be on site to answer questions while the Peace Tower Carillon is played at 12:30 by Dr. Andrea McCrady, Dominion Carillonneur.
For those living in Gatineau, an aerial demonstration will take place on Saturday at the Gatineau Airport from 3 to 5 p.m. Tickets for adults are $15 and $5 for children over the age of five.
Other commemorations will be held across the country in the following cities: Kingston, Cold Lake, Goose Bay, Shearwater, Greenwood, Moose Jaw, Borden and Winnipeg. Many cities will host their own parades.
On June 17, 1940, after years of resisting Germany advances, the French signed an armistice with Nazi Germany leaving England as the sole allies left on the continent of Europe. What ensued was the largest sustained bombing campaign to that date between England and Germany. Between July and October of 1940, the U.K. witnessed an aerial warfare effecting the country’s military posts and civilians during the Battle of Britain.
More than one hundred Canadians also took part in the battle with an unknown number serving as ground crew. Twenty-three Canadian soldiers lost their lives. Described as the turning point of the Second World War, the Battle of Britain successfully halted a ground invasion by the Germans. It was the first battle won by air power.
The ceremony to commemorate this heroic war effort is celebrated annually on the third Sunday in Sept. The commemorations recognize all those that served and died in the Battle of Britain as well as those members currently serving in the RCAF.
For more details on which ceremony is closest to you visit the Royal Canadian Air Force website.