Today, Canadians are gathering in Dieppe Park in Montréal, as well as in capitals and communities across the country, to honour the contributions of their fellow Canadians who served during the Second World War.
MONTRÉAL, Aug. 19, 2017 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is dedicated to commemorating the sacrifices of the brave men and women who served Canada in the First and Second World Wars. We continue to preserve their legacy and recognize their contributions and achievements as a way to pass the torch of remembrance to future generations.
Today, Sherry Romanado, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, joined Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal, to pay tribute and recognize the men and women who served Canada during the Second World War. The Parliamentary Secretary was joined by Veterans and their families, Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police members, youth, as well as fellow Canadians.
The commemorative ceremony occurred in Dieppe Park, in the Ville-Marie borough, which name was recently changed by the City of Montréal to mark the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid. The ceremony included an artillery salute, the performing of the Last Post followed by two minutes of silence, and an account of the Dieppe Raid by historian Béatrice Richard. The ceremony concluded with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque.
The Dieppe Raid took place on August 19, 1942, with almost 5,000 Canadian soldiers coming ashore along the heavily defended coast of France. Alongside British and American troops, the Canadians fought valiantly against the German forces during Operation Jubilee, as the Dieppe Raid was codenamed. Our servicemen sustained heavy losses, with 916 making the ultimate sacrifice and some 1,950 more becoming prisoners of war. The brave efforts of all those who participated in Operation Jubilee helped refine Allied amphibious techniques before the successful D-Day attacks on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944.
Seventy-five years later, Canadians came together both in Canada and in France to remember them. Several visitors attended the commemorative ceremonies at the Square du Canada in Dieppe, France. Commemorative events were also organized in communities across Canada. From coast to coast to coast, Canadians gathered to remember this important moment in Canada's military history.
"Canada's Veterans deserve our greatest recognition for their service. Seventy-five years later, the stories of Canadians at Dieppe must continue to be shared to ensure their fight for our future is never forgotten. Today we reflect on the courage and bravery shown by those who served in the Second World War and put their lives at risk for the values that we continue to cherish today."
Sherry Romanado, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
"Although the Dieppe Raid cost the lives of many Canadians, the lessons learned from the deadly attack helped shape the successful Allied landings in Normandy, France, two years later on D-Day. The hard lessons learned from the amphibious assault on Dieppe saved many lives in latter attacks which were crucial to winning the Second World War. It is important to take a moment to remember and honour those who took part in the Dieppe Raid, and to be forever grateful for their role in helping the Allies to victory in the conflict. "
Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
"In order to mark the war efforts of all Canadians who took part in the Dieppe Raid, 75 years ago today, the City of Montréal renamed the park. This year also marks the 375th anniversary of Montréal, we have the opportunity to reclaim our history and this commemoration is our way to collectively recognize the ultimate sacrifice that these soldiers made in order for us to enjoy our freedom. I would like to thank Veterans Affairs and the Canadian Armed Forces, but also to acknowledge especially the direct involvement of two Montréal regiments during the Dieppe Raid: les Fusiliers Mont-Royal and The Black Watch of Canada. The Dieppe Park shows Montréal's collective commitment to remember these heroes forever."
The honourable Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal
- The Dieppe Raid began before dawn on August 19, 1942. The operation was intended to test German defences, practise Allied assault techniques, force the enemy to divert military resources from the Eastern Front and acquire valuable intelligence. Supported by British and American commandos, almost 5,000 Canadian soldiers took part in the attack on the occupied French port of Dieppe. Sadly, it would prove to be the bloodiest single day of the entire Second World War for Canada and more than 3,350 of our soldiers were killed, wounded or taken prisoner.
- Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal, a regiment based in Montréal, was part of the Allied reserve force during the Dieppe Raid. A miscommunication led to the belief that Canadians in the first waves of attackers had made significant progress into the town of Dieppe, prompting Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal to be sent ashore to assist them. Unfortunately this led the regiment directly into heavy German gun fire, resulting in 119 fatal casualties.
- The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada is the oldest highland regiment in Canada. During the Dieppe Raid, this regiment was to support the amphibious assault of the Royal Regiment of Canada at Puys with machine guns and mortars. The German defenders were ready for the attack, however, and the members of the Black Watch found themselves pinned down and would suffer four fatal casualties.
- Those who fought in the Dieppe Raid were among the more than one million Canadian men and women who served in uniform during the Second World War.
- The efforts of all of these brave Canadians helped the Allies eventually achieve victory.
- 2017 is a special year of commemoration for Canada as we remember the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid, the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele and Canada 150.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468, Vac.firstname.lastname@example.org; Sarah McMaster, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649; Marc-André Gosselin, Press Secretary, Office of the Mayor and Executive Committee, 514-290-1194; Jules Chamberland-Lajoie, Public Relations Officer, City of Montréal, Media Relations Division, 514-475-6612