HALIFAX, Sept. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, and the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, presented the new Bomber Command Bar to local Veterans at a special ceremony held today at the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum. Veterans of Bomber Command and their families were in attendance for the ceremony.
"I could not be prouder to honour these Veterans and all of the brave Canadians who served in Bomber Command operations during the Second World War," said Minister Fantino. "They courageously took the battle for peace, freedom and democracy to the seemingly endless skies over Europe, with many losing their lives. We are proud to recognize and thank them for their service."
"Bomber Command was critical to Allied victory in the Second World War. Thousands of Canadians flew dangerous missions on our behalf as part of Bomber Command operations and some 10,000 paid the ultimate price," said Minister MacKay. "The Government of Canada established the Bomber Command Bar because we are committed to recognizing these deserving Canadians. I consider it a great honour to have the opportunity to join Minister Fantino in presenting it to these deserving local Veterans."
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. For more information on Canada's role in Bomber Command, please visit veterans.gc.ca.
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.
Today's recipients included Nova Scotians who have applied for the Bomber Command Bar since the launch of the application process earlier this year. Applications for the bar continue to be received and processed. Canadian Veterans who served as part of Bomber Command and/or their families are encouraged to apply online for the honour or to download a hardcopy of the application form at veterans.gc.ca. Veterans may also request an application form by calling Veterans Affairs at 1-866-522-2122 (English) or 1-866-522-2022 (French).
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.
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
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