06/06/2014 07:52 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:03 EDT

Mackenzie King's D-Day address

On the morning of June 6, 1944, Canadians awoke to the voice of their prime minister on the radio.  

"At half past three o'clock this morning, the government received official word that the invasion of Western Europe had begun," prime minister Mackenzie King announced.

Under the command of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Allied naval forces — supported by strong air forces — stormed the beach at Normandy, on the northern coast of Nazi-occupied France. More than 6,000 Allied forces' vessels converged on Europe.

The Canadian navy entered Europe on a stretch of sand, code named "Juno Beach."  

King described the Allied invasion as "the opening of what we hope and believe will be the decisive phase of the war against Germany."  

King also warned that the fighting will be "heavy, bitter and costly.

"Let the hearts of all in Canada today be filled with silent prayer for the success of our own and Allied forces and for the early liberation of the people of Europe." 

As King addressed Canadians in their living rooms, he assured them "we have every reason for confidence in the final outcome."

Many would die there but, for the Canadian Forces, D-Day was a triumph that is still honoured at home and on the beach they called "Juno."