On Friday, May 17, a dedication ceremony will take place at Mount Pleasant Burial Park in Swift Current at the gravesite of Rifleman Denis Celestin George Denniel.

Born on May 5, 1917, at Val Marie, Rifleman Denniel served in the Canadian Army during the Second World War with the Regina Rifle Regiment, now known as the Royal Regina Rifles, enlisting on June 27, 1940.

“He participated in the D-Day landings at Juno Beach with the Regina Rifles on June 6, 1944,” said John Griffin, public relations officer for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #56 in Swift Current. “He was wounded that day but recovered from his injuries and continued to serve throughout the war and into the early post-war era.”

Rifleman Denniel was discharged from the Canadian Forces on January 28, 1954, and passed away in Swift Current on January 27, 1968. He was laid to rest in block 1, grave 61, in the Field of Honour at Mount Pleasant.

“For 56 years, his final resting place has only been marked by a temporary marker, a white wooden cross which, unfortunately, his name was spelled incorrectly on,” Griffin said. “Through the hard work and dedication of the Last Post Fund, we are pleased to announce that Rifleman Denniel will be receiving a new permanent marker.”

The Last Post Fund is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure all veterans receive a dignified funeral and burial, including a military gravestone, and are working to identify veterans buried in cemeteries with temporary grave markers and replace those with permanent markers.

“It’s the least we can do for these veterans,” Griffin added. “They serve their country in life, and in death it’s our duty to ensure they are remembered and that we keep their stories alive for future generations.”

The dedication ceremony will be held at Rifleman Denniel’s graveside on Friday afternoon starting at 2:00 p.m., and the public is invited to attend and pay their respects. The event will include speeches from retired Major Brad Hrycyna, a volunteer researcher from the Last Post Fund, and there will be a flypast of two CT-156 Harvard II aircraft from 15 Wing Moose Jaw.