OSHAWA, ON, July 7, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Erin O'Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today honoured five Canadian Military Veterans of the Second World War among their friends and family at Revera's Cedarcroft Retirement Home, in Oshawa. Fellow residents and staff were also in attendance to congratulate the small group of Canadian Armed Forces Veteran residents who served in the conflict.
This Second World War Tribute honours Canadian citizens who served during the Second World War in defence of our values, including those who served with our Allies. Some of these men and women may have become Canadian citizens later in life, but their service as part of Allied forces is no less valuable. All living Canadian Military Veterans of the Second World War can receive a limited-edition commemorative lapel pin and a personalized certificate of recognition for their service to Canada.
From 2014 to 2020, Canada is marking the 75th anniversary of significant milestones in the Second World War and proudly recognizing those who bravely served and sacrificed on our behalf. This Government will organize and support events and initiatives that pay homage to the many Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served during the World Wars, and will recognize the enduring legacy of these historical events.
Minister O'Toole presented the following five Military Veterans with a Second World War pin and certificate for their service to Canada.
- Audrey Barnes
- William Benson
- Peter Branton
- Herman Huisman
- Wilbert Shewfelt
- The Second World War marked the first time Canada declared war of its own accord. Though Britain and France declared war on September 3, 1939, King George VI would not announce Canada's entry until September 10, 1939, following approval during a special session of our country's Parliament.
- With a population of some 11 million in 1939, Canada's contribution to the Second World War was disproportionately large. From 1939 to 1945, more than one million Canadians and Newfoundlanders served, with more than 55,000 wounded and over 45,000 giving their lives.
- It is estimated that there are approximately 80,000 Canadian Second World War Veterans alive today.
- Canadians who served at least one day with the Canadian forces, or with any other Allied force, including the Canadian or British Merchant Navy, either at home or abroad, during the Second World War are eligible to apply for the commemorative lapel pin and certificate. Request forms are available online at veterans.gc.ca, and by calling Veterans Affairs Canada at 1-866-522-2122.
- The design of the commemorative pin and the illustration on the certificate are based on the original "Victory Nickel," which features a flaming torch and a large "V" standing both for victory and the coin's denomination. The coin was originally in circulation from 1943 to 1945 and was re-issued in 2005 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.
"Today, it is with great pride that we come together in our community of Durham to honour these courageous men and women who served and sacrificed to defend our cherished way of life. They deserve the enormous respect and gratitude that is shared by all Canadians."
The Honourable Erin O'Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs
"On behalf of the entire Revera family, I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to these dedicated Military Veterans for their commitment to Canada. They are most deserving of this recognition and I applaud them for their service to our country."
Thomas G. Wellner, President and Chief Executive Officer, Revera Inc.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Martin Magnan, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649 ; Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468