Second World War Veterans honoured across the country
VANCOUVER, Sept. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today hosted a ceremony in Vancouver 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 Minister also announced a new national tribute: a limited-edition commemorative lapel pin and a personalized certificate of recognition. Beginning today, all living Canadian Veterans of the Second World War are eligible to receive this tribute, honouring the extraordinary role they played in the Allied victory in service of Canada.
Minister Fantino made today's announcement at the historic Beatty Street Drill Hall, home of the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own) and presented the first British Columbia Veterans with their pins and certificates. The recipients included:
Additional presentations were made to Canadian Veterans at ceremonies across Canada today, including one in Ottawa, presided over by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada.
- 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
"It is our responsibility, as Canadians, to remember all those who wore our nation's uniform during the Second World War. Seventy-five years ago today, many young men and women were called upon to serve our country. It is a privilege to present these commemorative pins and certificates of recognition to our Veterans as an expression of Canada's profound gratitude."
The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Regional Minister for Nova Scotia
"Today, we recognize the remarkable courage of the more than one million Canadians who served during the Second World War. As we mark this important milestone, our government is pleased to present living Veterans of this conflict with commemorative lapel pins and certificates of recognition as a symbol of our nation's gratitude."
The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
"Seventy-five years ago, Canada entered the Second World War. Our small nation sent hundreds of thousands of our sons and daughters to faraway 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)
"More than one million Canadians and Newfoundlanders stepped forward during the Second World War to defend our shared values of peace, freedom and the rule of law. Today, our government is pleased to pay tribute to their courageous service and sacrifices through a commemorative lapel pin and certificate of recognition."
The Honourable Laurie Hawn, Member of Parliament, Edmonton Centre
- 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