Cadets travel to Juno Beach for D-day anniversary

After a year and a half of fundraising, 18 members of the 65 Ponoka Squadron of Royal Canadian Air Cadets traveled to Juno Beach

Several members of the 65 Ponoka Air cadets attended the 70th anniversary of D-Day at Juno Beach. In the back row are Officer Cody Huseby

After a year and a half of fundraising, 18 members of the 65 Ponoka Squadron of Royal Canadian Air Cadets traveled to Juno Beach last month to celebrate the 70th anniversary of D-day.

For Grace Durand, chairman of the parent’s committee for the Ponoka squadron the trip was a wonderful experience.

“The kids will remember it for years,” she said. “It was cool to watch the kids talking to the veterans. I would certainly recommend it for any youngster.”

Durand, whose grandfather served in World War 11, said she found the experience to be educational and enjoyable.

Cadets Chance Leamont, Cody Johns and Alida Granson, former cadets Alexis Stewart and Matthew Granson and officers Leo Chow and Deni Lund were among the group who traveled to Juno Beach.

For 17-year-old Chance Leamont, the trip to Juno Beach was life changing.

“You watch TV shows and learn about it, but to actually be there – it was view changing for me, for sure.”

The air cadets marched along the coast of Normandy to participate in the activities, listen to the speeches and mingle with veterans.

“There was one veteran who was 100 years old,” Leamont said. “He landed on Juno Beach when he was 30, and there he was sitting on the beach again.

“It was nice to meet all the veterans,” he added.

Being named the top squadron in central Alberta on June 14 at the annual ceremonial review is another highlight of the summer for young cadets.

Len Granson, squadron sponsoring committee advisor said there are nine squadrons in central Alberta located from Camrose to Airdrie.

Parade nights will resume Sept. 2.

Contact Granson at lgranson@telus.net for more information.