Minister of Veterans Affairs invites Canadian Veterans of the Liberation of the Netherlands to take part in commemorative ceremonies
OTTAWA, Feb. 17, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Erin O'Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today announced plans for an official Government of Canada delegation to travel to the Netherlands in 2015, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands. The delegation will be comprised of Veterans who served on land, in the air and at sea during the Second World War campaign.
In addition, the Government of Canada is offering financial assistance for any Veteran of the campaign wishing to travel to the Netherlands to attend Government of Canada commemorative events taking place from May 3–9, 2015.
- Canadian Veterans who participated in the Liberation of the Netherlands are eligible to apply for up to $2,000 in travel assistance and are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Learn more about the Government of Canada's support for Veterans wishing to participate by phoning, toll free, 1-866-522-2122, visiting veterans.gc.ca or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- All Canadian Veterans of the campaign planning to attend commemorative events in the Netherlands are asked to identify themselves to Veterans Affairs Canada to ensure they are invited to official Government of Canada events.
- During the Second World War, tens of thousands of Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen played a key role in the Liberation of the Netherlands, including up to 175,000 Canadian soldiers of the First Canadian Army. The cost of this victory was high, as more than 7,600 Canadians lost their lives.
- In 2014, Canada marked the centennial of the beginning of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War. From 2014 to 2020, Canada will mark the events, the battles, and the social conditions that shaped these wars. These commemorations will encourage Canadians to understand more about the two world wars and pay tribute to those who contributed to these defining chapters in our collective history.
Canadian troops played a crucial role in liberating the Dutch people, who suffered from terrible hunger and hardship under enemy occupation. Lest we forget the tremendous service of Canadians in this effort and the opportunity for freedom for millions that their sacrifices secured."
The Honourable Erin O'Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs
"As a fighter-reconnaissance pilot Veteran of the Battle for the Liberation of the Netherlands, I had first-hand exposure both to the deprivation forced upon the Dutch people by their Nazi conquerors and to the enormous casualties endured by Canadian forces in the bloody struggle to defeat the German military. Their surrender to Canadian Lieutenant-General Charles Foulkes, at Wageningen, on May 5, 1945, helped to finally end the war in Europe. To recognize and celebrate in Holland the valour and sacrifice of those liberating Canadians 70 years later is a supremely worthy objective."
Major-General Richard Rohmer, OC, CMM, DFC, O.Ont , CD, QC, Knight of the Légion d'Honneur, Special Advisor to the Minister of Veterans Affairs
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