His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston and the Honourable Pierre Poilievre participate in launch of new national tribute for Veterans
OTTAWA, Sept. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, along with the Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of State for Democratic Reform, today hosted a ceremony in Ottawa honouring Canadian Veterans of the Second World War among their friends, family, and members of the Canadian Veteran community, on the 75th anniversary of Canada's entry into the conflict. The Government of Canada also launched a new national tribute to the extraordinary role Canadians played in the Allied victory. Beginning today, all living Canadian Veterans of the Second World War are eligible to receive a limited-edition commemorative lapel pin and a personalized certificate of recognition.
Governor General Johnston and Minister Poilievre were at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, in Ottawa, to present the first Ontario Veterans with their pins and certificates. The recipients included:
Additional presentations were made to Canadian Veterans at ceremonies across Canada today, including one at the historic Beatty Street Drill Hall, in Vancouver, that was led by Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino.
- 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 (VAC) 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's ceremonies were held in conjunction with Canada's World Wars Commemoration period, which was launched last month to mark the Centennial of the First World War. Between now and 2020, the Government of Canada 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.
"As Canadians, we have a responsibility to reflect upon our country's past, and remember those who served to protect the values that we cherish so dearly today. Our government is honoured to pay tribute to Canada's Veterans of the Second World War by presenting them with these pins and certificates as symbols of our country's enduring pride and gratitude."
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs
"Seventy five years ago, Canada entered the Second World War. Our small nation sent hundreds of thousands of our sons and daughters to far-away shores to defend the right of all people to live in peace and freedom. Today, our government honours their service with commemorative lapel pins and certificates of recognition—a symbol of Canada's gratitude."
The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of State (Democratic Reform)
- Second World War Tribute announcement
- Second World War Tribute application form
- Canada and the Second World War
- Canada's World Wars Commemoration
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Barbara Mottram, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649; Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468