An official Government of Canada delegation led by the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, is currently in France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid.
DIEPPE, France, Aug. 19, 2017 /CNW/ - Canadians fought and fell in Dieppe 75 years ago today in an effort to restore peace and freedom to Europe and to the world. On this day, it is important that we gather to remember their courage and valour.
The Government of Canada delegation attended a ceremony today in Dieppe, France, to honour Canadians who took part in the Dieppe Raid. The ceremony began in the Square du Canada and proceeded somberly down the Esplanade, stopping to lay wreaths at the Canadian regimental monuments along the way. Dignitaries, Veterans, representatives of Indigenous and Veterans' associations, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian youth, and parliamentarians composed the delegation. A contingent of the Canadian Armed Forces made up of units and branches involved in the raid also participated.
Canada and France were officially represented at the commemorative event. Dignitaries included the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Mr. Graeme Clark, Chargé d'Affaires at the Embassy of Canada in France and Ms. Geneviève Darrieussecq, Minister of State, attached to the Minister for the Armed Forces, in charge of Veteran Affairs.
In Canada, signature commemorative events are scheduled for today in Montréal, Calgary and Dieppe (New Brunswick). Other communities in Canada will also hold events to mark this anniversary.
Canadian soldiers saw their first significant action in Europe during the Second World War in the Dieppe Raid that took place on the shores of occupied France on August 19, 1942. It would prove to be Canada's bloodiest day of the entire conflict, with more than 3,350 of our service members being killed, wounded or taken prisoner. The Canadians who fought in the Dieppe Raid sacrificed greatly in their efforts to help bring peace and freedom to the people of Europe. Their task was a very difficult and costly one.
"Today we pay tribute to those who fought in the Dieppe Raid and remember the sacrifices they made in the pursuit of a peaceful future. It is a distinct privilege to attend this ceremony, commemorating the Canadian soldiers who came ashore here. The courage they showed in service to our country must never be forgotten."
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
- The Square du Canada is a small park in the western end of Dieppe, France. In its centre is the Dieppe-Canada Monument which features the names of people and events linking Canada and Normandy over the years. A plaque commemorating the Dieppe Raid is also located within the park.
- Two Canadians, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Cecil Merritt and Honorary Captain John Weir Foote, were awarded the Victoria Cross for their heroic actions during the Dieppe Raid.
- More than one million Canadians served in uniform during the Second World War. Sadly, over 45,000 Canadians lost their lives and another 55,000 were wounded in the conflict.
- On August 19, 2017, the King's Own Calgary Regiment unveiled a new monument on the Esplanade in Dieppe, France, to honour past members of its regiment who fought in the Dieppe Raid.
- For more information on the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid, visit veterans.gc.ca/Dieppe75
- Share your thoughts at facebook.com/CanadaRemembers
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468, [email protected]; Sarah McMaster, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649