Air Canada transports Canadian Remembrance Torch to Europe for D-Day commemorations
Jun 07, 2024

As Canada observes the 80th anniversary of D-Day, a small piece of Canada made its way from Toronto to Europe last week to help mark this historic day.

Air Canada was proud to transport The Canadian Remembrance Torch and its travelling flames on board flight 872 from Toronto to Paris on June 1. The Torch and flames then made their way to the beaches of Normandy, France where the historic, pivotal Second World War battles were fought, leading to the liberation of western Europe. The flames — from the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill — were escorted by a member of the registered charity, The Canadian Remembrance Torch, and several McMaster University engineering students who created the Torch and are helping to pay tribute to the thousands of Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Second World War.

“As Canada's flagship airline, Air Canada is honoured to carry The Canadian Remembrance Torch across the Atlantic to raise awareness of D-Day's 80th anniversary. Thanks to the amazing teamwork of our colleagues from various departments who ensured that the Torch is handled with care and respect, we have been able to support this historic and meaningful initiative, to help memoralize our country’s history and contributions to democracy and freedom,” said Eric Lauzon, Director of Community Relations and Partnerships at Air Canada.

“Air Canada’s incredible generosity and support have given The Canadian Remembrance Torch ‘wings’ to spread awareness and inspire gratitude for our Veterans’ gift of peace and freedom,” said Karen Hunter, Founder and Executive Director of The Canadian Remembrance Torch.

The Torch was present at several events marking D-Day, including Normandy ceremonies at Bayeux and Caen, as well as war cemeteries at Bény-sur-Mer and Bretteville-sur-Laize, where many brave Canadian soldiers were laid to rest.

On June 6, the flame lit The Canadian Remembrance Torch at the Juno Beach Centre in memory of Second World War Veterans on the occasion of D-Day’s 80th anniversary.

“Passing the torch of memory to future generations was central to our founding Veteran’s efforts to open the Juno Beach Centre (JBC) over 20 years ago," said Alex Fitzgerald-Black, Executive Director of the Juno Beach Centre Association. "Our student guides were honoured to welcome the Canadian Remembrance Torch to the JBC on the eve of these great commemorations made in the presence of Canadian Second World War Veterans."   

Designed, built, and refined by teams of engineering students at McMaster University, The Canadian Remembrance Torch is our national symbol of gratitude for peace and freedom.