Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence leads Government of Canada delegation to Belgium to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
MONS, Belgium, Nov. 8, 2018 /CNW/ - The efforts of Canadians during the last hundred days of the First World War helped bring peace to the world at the end of what was then known as "The Great War." The sacrifices and achievements of those who gave so much to help liberate and bring freedom to the world will never be forgotten.
Exactly a century after the Canadian Corps liberated the town of Mons, Belgium, in the hours before the Armistice was signed, Canada will play a key role in commemorating the end of the First World War. The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, will lead an official Government of Canada delegation to Belgium to take part in ceremonies and events marking this milestone anniversary from November 9 to 11, 2018.
The delegation will include Canadian Veterans, youth, and parliamentarians as well as ceremonial support from the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. A contingent of the Canadian Armed Forces made up of regiments with a connection to those that fought in the closing battles of the war will be featured prominently in many events in Belgium and France during this period.
On November 9, the Government of Canada will host a special Tribute to Canada's Fallen Heroes at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. This commemorative candlelight ceremony will include placement of candles by the public, musical and ceremonial performances by the Canadian Armed Forces, an Indigenous spiritual ceremony and dance, and an animated projection of some 66,000 falling poppies and maple leaves on the Vimy Memorial in honour of the Canadians and Newfoundlanders who gave their lives during the First World War.
On November 10, the Belgian Municipality of Le Roeulx will honour Canadian Private George Lawrence Price, who is believed to be the last Canadian soldier to die in battle during the First World War, by inaugurating a new monument in his honour near the place where he fell in November 1918.
On November 11, the City of Mons will hold a Liberation Parade honouring all those who fought in the First World War and especially the Canadian soldiers who freed their city on that same day a century before, in 1918.
"It is an honour to join Veterans from regiments who, one hundred years ago, were on the front lines during Canada's Hundred Days. We will walk the same paths that those regiments did and we will remember the Canadians who liberated villages and towns all across Europe's Western Front all the way to Mons on November 11, 1918. The people of Belgium have never forgotten the sacrifices Canadians made and neither will Canada."
The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
Quick Facts – Canada in the First World War
- Canadians saw their first major action at Ypres, Belgium, on April 22, 1915.
- More than 650,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders served during the First World War. More than 66,000 gave their lives and over 172,000 were wounded.
- More than 4,000 Indigenous recruits enlisted in Canada's military during the war. This represented nearly one-third of all Indigenous men eligible to serve.
- More than 70 Canadians and Newfoundlanders were awarded the Victoria Cross for "most conspicuous bravery in the presence of the enemy" during the First World War—30 of those were during Canada's Hundred Days.
- The fighting ended on November 11, 1918, with the signing of the Armistice. The war officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
- For more information on 100th anniversary of Canada's Hundred Days and the Armistice of the First World War, visit http://www.veterans.gc.ca/100Days
- Share your thoughts on social media by using the hashtags #CanadaRemembers and #Canadas100Days and visiting facebook.com/CanadaRemembers
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468, firstname.lastname@example.org; Alex Wellstead, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Alex.Wellstead@canada.ca