EDMONTON, Sept. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, and the Honourable Laurie Hawn, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, presented the new Bomber Command Bar to local Canadian Veterans at a special ceremony held at the Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton today. Veterans of Bomber Command and their families were in attendance for the ceremony.
"Today, our Government is proud to present the Bomber Command Bar to honour Canadian Veterans who served in Bomber Command operations during the Second World War," said Minister Fantino. "These Canadians fought for peace, freedom and democracy, with many losing their lives in these missions in the skies over Europe. We are proud to recognize them for their service."
"The Bomber Command Bar recognizes an important group of Canadian Veterans for their commitment and bravery in facing some of the most difficult odds of the Second World War," said MP Hawn. "Thousands of Canadians served in Bomber Command, and some 10,000 of them paid the ultimate price. These Canadians played an important part in securing the Allied victory in the Second World War, and we are deeply proud of their service."
Canada played a vital role in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, a wide-reaching plan that was jointly undertaken by Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, whose graduates formed the backbone of Bomber Command. Many of the Canadians who trained under this program served with Royal Canadian Air Force squadrons in the No. 6 Bomber Group—the only non-British group to serve in Bomber Command. By the end of the Second World War, No. 6 Bomber Group had carried out more than 40,000 sorties and approximately 8,000 decorations for bravery were awarded to its members. The Government of Canada created this official honour to formally recognize these brave Canadians.
In addition to the creation of the Bomber Command Bar, the Government of Canada also helped in creating the new Bomber Command Memorial in London, United Kingdom. This memorial honours all members of the Bomber Command from Allied countries and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
For more information on Canada's role in Bomber Command and the Bomber Command Bar, to apply online for the honour or to download a hardcopy of the application form, 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 defend the Republic of Korea and uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law. For more information on Canada's role in the Korean War, visit veterans.gc.ca.
Image with caption: "Minister Fantino and MP for Edmonton-Centre, Laurie Hawn, presented the Bomber Command Bar to Veterans at a special ceremony in Edmonton (L-R seated - Manuel Sharko, Thomas Bradshaw, Ken Long, Michael Kutyn; Standing- Wilfred Seal, Minister Fantino, MP Hawn, David Bradshaw, Robert White) (CNW Group/Veterans Affairs Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130910_C5824_PHOTO_EN_30616.jpg
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Follow us on Twitter: @VeteransENG_CA