Burlington Teen Tour Band performs at D-Day ceremonies in France


Published June 6, 2024 at 11:13 am

Burlington Teen Tour Band Normany France Juno

The significance of today’s (June 6) 80th anniversary of D-Day is not lost on the members of the Burlington Teen Tour Band.

As they perform as part of the Canadian delegation at Juno Beach in France, the young musicians know they’re getting an up-close look at history. Members of the Allied forces are being remembered for their efforts and sacrifice in the battle that marked the beginning of the end of World War II.

D-Day — the “D” actually stands for “Day” and is used by the military to mark the beginning of an operation — occurred when 160,000 mostly Canadian, American and British troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, in a surprise attack that helped liberate Europe from the German invaders.

While the fight didn’t end the war that day, the decisive battle put the Allies on a path to victory that eventually saw the enemy surrender a year later.

“We know this day is important, we prepared for this trip and understand what it means to so many people,” said a member of the band on social media. “Lives were lost for the sake of freedom. It can be a sad occasion, but we are celebrating so we don’t forget the sacrifice.”

To further the connection, each band member was asked to research a Canadian soldier who was at Normandy.

Although today’s event will be a first-time visit for some, the band has a long history with Juno Beach having performed there 40 times on occasions to mark D-Day.

In addition, the band’s history essentially coincides with the end of WWII. Formed in 1947, the Teen Tour Band has performed just about everywhere at special events and competitions representing Canada, but specifically serving as ambassadors for Burlington on the world’s stage.

The band left for Europe on May 31 and visited England before heading to France.

As part of the ceremonies, the band will perform both the Canadian and French national anthems as well as The Maple Leaf Forever.

To conclude their trip, band members will visit Courseulles-sur-Mer, a town that was liberated by Canadian soldiers during the war.

They’re expected back home on June 10.

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