Decades after D-Day a veteran gets his medals
73 years ago, 14-thousand Canadians moved into Western Europe on June 6th, 1944.
To mark the anniversary on Sunday, the 1st Hussars held a ceremony in London's Victoria Park.
But the gathering wasn’t just about remembering, it was about paying respect to a veteran.
93-year-old Aris Domnas reflected back on those long-ago days, “It’s mostly memory. I remeber the people I lost.”
As a Sherman tank gunner, he fought through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany saying stoically, “I don’t go in for tears. As far as people are concerned, War is war.”
Tuesday will mark the 73rd year since the incursion into Western Europe. It was a mission retired Lieutenant-Colonel Joe Murray says took a tremendous toll, “We lost 187 men during World War II, 22 on D-Day itself.”
What made this anniversary even more special was a unique presentation. Murray says, “Aris never bothered applying for his medals. And we found out when we were in Holland two years ago and I asked him, ‘where are your medals?’”
When it was discovered the medals were never applied for and never awarded, the association representing the 1st Hussars decided they would make things right.
They contacted Aris’ daughter, Allison, and arranged to have him at the service on Sunday to surprise him with the medals.
Originally from Montreal, Domnas had become a professor of biochemistry at the University of North Carolina.
While thankful for the gesture, he admits, “I don’t really have this kind of business in my mind.”
Still, all on hand were pleased to see the man get his medals more than seven decades after D-Day.