Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Francis “Frank” Godon, a Métis World War II veteran and extraordinary Canadian who passed away on January 12.
Mr. Godon joined the Canadian Forces in 1942, and on June 6, 1944, he landed on Juno Beach with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. He was taken prisoner and put in a concentration and labour camp. Thankfully, with liberation, he returned to Canada in 1945.
In 2014, he returned to the beaches of Normandy for the 70th anniversary of D-Day, representing the participation of first nations and Métis soldiers in the Canadian campaign in Europe during World War II. He is featured in Veteran Stories for The Memory Project, for which he shared a powerful account of his experiences as a Métis soldier. He said, “If your buddies got hurt during that and the yelling and crying, you couldn't stop, you had to keep going.”
To Mr. Godon's family, I extend my sincere condolences on the loss of a great Canadian hero. His dedication and sacrifice for his country shall never be forgotten.