OTTAWA, July 1, 2013 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney,
Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, Senator
David Wells participated in a wreath-laying ceremony today at the
National War Memorial, in Ottawa, to pay tribute to all Newfoundlanders
and Labradorians who fought and the almost 700 who became casualties
during the Battles of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel.
"Each year, on July 1, we proudly celebrate the birth of our great
nation—a country that would be very different today were it not for the
efforts of all Canadians who served during the First World War," said
Minister Blaney. "Today, we also remember the historic day at
Beaumont-Hamel, and we honour the valiant sacrifices and
accomplishments of the Newfoundland Regiment."
The Battle of the Somme began on July 1, 1916. On that fateful morning,
members of the 1st Newfoundland Regiment attacked the German trenches
at Beaumont-Hamel, France, and suffered casualties far beyond
expectation. Approximately 800 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians went
into battle that morning, and sadly, only 68 were present for roll call
the next day.
"I feel privileged to help mark the 97th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and, specifically, to honour the
men and women of my home province and their remarkable bravery shown at
Beaumont-Hamel," said Senator Wells. "Pride for the Newfoundland
Regiment at the Battle of the Somme can still be felt across
Newfoundland and Labrador today."
Government of Canada representatives also took part in a wreath-laying
ceremony today in Beaumont-Hamel, France, to mark the beginning of the
Battle of the Somme in 1916, and in particular the sacrifices of the
Newfoundland Regiment on that day. For more information on the Battle
of the Somme and the First World War, please visit veterans.gc.ca.
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the
heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to 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:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Jean-Christophe de Le Rue
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs