CATANIA, Italy, July 31, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino,
Minister of Veterans Affairs, today participated in the inauguration of
the Operation Husky 2013 Canadian Display, a new and permanent exhibit
to Canada's contributions during the Sicilian Campaign, at the Museo
dello Sbarco military museum in Catania. The unveiling is part of a
series of events taking place in Italy to mark the 70th anniversary of Operation Husky, the Second World War's Sicilian Campaign
which took place from July to August 1943.
"This special exhibit will help ensure that visitors to the museum
understand Canada's extraordinary service and sacrifice during the
Sicilian Campaign seven decades ago," said Minister Fantino. "The
exhibits focus on the tremendous efforts of the more than 25,000
Canadian soldiers who fought with Allied forces through extremely
challenging conditions and the 562 of them who gave their lives in
Sicily to defeat fascism and restore peace and freedom."
Soldiers from the 1st Canadian Infantry Division and the 1st Canadian
Army Tank Brigade joined the first Allied assault on Sicily in the
early morning of July 10, 1943. The British and Canadian troops came
ashore along a 60-kilometre stretch of coastline near Pachino, at the
southern tip of Sicily. The assault was one of the largest seaborne
operations in military history, involving nearly 3,000 Allied ships and
landing craft. Fierce fighting lasted more than four weeks through
kilometres of mountainous terrain. More than 2,300 Canadian soldiers
became casualties, 562 of which were fatal.
Minister Fantino congratulated Operation Husky 2013 participants, a
civilian Canadian contingent that concluded a 20-day commemorative
journey to retrace the steps of Canadian soldiers. Their journey began
on July 10 at the beaches of Pachino, and their symbolic march
concluded in Agira. A group of 60 Canadian Armed Forces personnel also
joined to take part in a portion of the commemorative march. A ceremony
of remembrance was held at the Agira Canadian War Cemetery on July 30.
Through the Community Engagement Partnership Fund, Veterans Affairs
Canada has provided financial support to the 3rd (Montréal) Field
Battery of Artillery in support of in-Canada activities for Operation Husky 2013.
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the
heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to defend the Republic of Korea and uphold freedom, democracy and the rule
of law. For more information on Canada's role in the Korean War, visit veterans.gc.ca.
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Notes to the editor / news director:
Imagery will be posted on the following website:
For more information on the privately-led commemorative effort Operation Husky 2013, please visit the official website at http://www.operationhusky2013.ca.
For more information on Canada's contributions to the Italian Campaign, please visit the following web page: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/feature/italy/history/pish
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs