In My Opinion: Remember the price that was paid so you are free to vote

A piper leads the parade along Kingston Road marking the 79th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. The parade on Sunday, June 4, went from Norway Public School to the St. John’s Norway Cemetery at Woodbine Avenue. There are more than 500 veterans buried in St. John’s Norway Cemetery. Photo by Alan Shackleton.



Earlier this month I took a photo of the parade by local members of the Royal Canadian Legion held to mark the 79th anniversary of D-Day.

I think it’s important to remember the sacrifices made on June 6, 1944 as Allied forces took the decisive action needed to begin the process that ended the Second World War.

All Canadians should be aware of the role our country played that day in liberating Europe from Nazi rule.

On D-Day, more than 14,000 Canadian military members took part. The Canadian troops secured Juno Beach in Normandy, France that day at the cost of 359 killed and more than 1,000 other casualties.

Among those members of the Canadian military who took part in the D-Day invasion were Malvern Collegiate graduates Sgt. Morris Murray of the Royal Canadian Air Force; Cpl. Cameron Leaner Jones of the 7th Canadian Reconnaissance Regiment, 17th Duke of York’s Royal Canadian Hussars; and Cpl. Howard P. Kidd, of the Highland Light Infantry,

In a 2019 story in Beach Metro Community News, David Fuller wrote about Murray, Jones and Kidd.

Murray graduated from Malvern in 1933, had lived on Kingswood Road, and was married to Fern Hillier in 1942 just prior to shipping out. He was the navigator of an RAF Halifax bomber sent out from England on the night of June 5, 1944 in advance of the landings on the beaches of Normandy.

Morris Murray
Sgt. Morris Murray of the Royal Canadian Air Force died in June 1944 when the Halifax bomber he was the navigator on was shot down over France. Murray graduated from Malvern Collegiate in 1933.

Murray’s plane was hit by flak (anti-aircraft fire) and crashed near the villages of Grey-sur-Mer and Vers-sur-Mer in France. All of the members of the plane’s crew died in the crash and they were buried in an orchard by local citizens.

Murray’s body was later transferred to a Canadian military cemetery in Beny-sur-Mer, France.

Jones, who graduated from Malvern in 1940 and grew up on Lawlor Avenue, crossed the English Channel by ship on D-Day and was among the second wave of Canadian soldiers to land at Juno Beach. He survived D-Day but was killed in action on July 9 near Carpiquet, France.

Jones is also buried at the Beny-sur-Mer cemetery, just nine rows away from where Murray is buried.

Kidd was a Malvern graduate from the year 1922. He was among the first soldiers to go ashore on D-Day and also survived the landing. Kidd was killed on July 8 in action. He too is buried at Beny-sur-Mer cemetery.

It’s critically important to remember the real people who gave their lives for our freedom.

We need to know they went to local schools, lived on local streets and had lives and families here in our East Toronto neighbourhoods and that they gave those lives to fight against tyranny and evil.

They and thousands of others made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live free today.

And one of the enduring symbols of that freedom is our democracy and the right to vote for who we choose.

Please remember that as the Toronto mayoral byelection race enters its final couple of weeks leading up to the June 26 vote.

Yes, there a ridiculous number of candidates (102) running for mayor in this byelection but don’t let that discourage you. This is still a critically important election when it comes to determining Toronto’s future despite those trying to turn the campaign into a clown show.

Ignore them and concentrate on those you consider to be legitimate candidates and then cast your ballot for the person you believe will do the best job as Toronto’s next mayor.

Voting keeps faith with those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and honours men like Murray, Jones and Kidd.

Please make sure you vote on June 26!

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