Sep 11, 2016 (Sootoday by: Darren Taylor)
Veterans, mayor, gather at Sault Airport cenotaph for Battle of Britain anniversary
The annual Battle of Britain memorial ceremony was held Sunday at the Sault Ste. Marie Airport cenotaph.
Throughout the summer and early fall of 1940, a group of pilots from Britain, Canada and other countries fought against Hitler’s Luftwaffe and spared Britain from invasion, ensuring eventual Allied victory in the Second World War.
“Today, with 76 years having passed, there are few living veterans of the Battle of Britain left…it is incumbent upon us to continue to remember their courage, their sacrifice, and what was at stake in that conflict,” Mayor Christian Provenzano said at Sunday’s ceremony.
The mayor praised the role played in the Second World War by local pilots such as Borden Gray, after whom the Sault Ste. Marie Airport terminal is named.
Gray died in the line of duty in 1944 in the North Atlantic, four years after the Battle of Britain.
“It is unthinkable what the world would be like today if they had failed the test and the task placed before them,” said Reverend Phil Miller, referring to the pilots who defended Britain in 1940.
Several wreaths were placed at the cenotaph during Sunday’s ceremony, in honour of those who died in the Battle of Britain.
Second World War and Korean War veterans, along with members of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 and 155 Borden Gray Squadron Royal Canadian Air Cadets, were in attendance.