OTTAWA, Feb. 25, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs, issued the following statement today regarding the 71st anniversary of the end of Canada's participation in the Italian Campaign during the Second World War:
"On this anniversary, we remember the difficult battles Canadians had to face as they fought their way to the north of Italy against some of Germany's best troops.
"After some 20 months of long and difficult fighting, Canadian participation in the Italian Campaign came to an end in February 1945. Seventy-one years later, we continue to recognize the many sacrifices that were made by remembering those brave Canadians and their vital role in Italy.
"The Italian Campaign was an important military effort for Canada during the Second World War. Of the more than 93,000 Canadians who served in the campaign, our casualties totaled more than 26,000—almost 6,000 of which were fatal. The contributions and sacrifices of our service members played an important role in the Allied struggle to eventually liberate Italy.
"The Canadians who fought in Italy were among the more than one million courageous men and women from our country who served during the Second World War. Although they sacrificed greatly, they also accomplished much in their fight for peace and freedom—the same values we continue to defend today. Their loyalty and dedication remind us of what it means to be Canadian."
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Contacts: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468