86 years ago yesterday, July the 1st 1916, in broad daylight, one hundred thousand men, climbed out of their trenches and advanced shoulder to shoulder in line, one behind the other, across the crater-torn waste of No Man's Land. Weighed down by 30 kilograms of equipment each, they advanced slowly towards the awaiting German guns. This was the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The casualties sustained by the British army in the opening day of the Battle of Somme totalled 57,470, of which 19,240 were fatal. No unit suffered heavier losses than the Newfoundland Regiment, which had gone into action 801 strong. When the roll call of the unwounded was taken next day, only 68 answered their names. The final figures that revealed the virtual annihilation of the Battalion gave a grim count of 233 killed or died of wounds, 386 wounded, and 91 missing. Every officer who went forward in the Newfoundland attack was either killed or wounded. The Battle of Somme continued relentlessly for five more months. May we never forget the sacrifice of so many individuals who died to protect the freedoms of others.