OTTAWA, Oct. 20, 2017 /CNW/ - Sherry Romanado, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, will lead an official Government of Canada delegation in Ypres, Belgium, from November 7-12 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele. The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence will be in Belgium to attend a ceremony at the Tyne Cot Cemetery on November 10. The delegation will include Veterans, representatives from Indigenous and Veterans organizations, descendants of Passchendaele Veterans, parliamentarians, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and youth. The Canadian Armed Forces contingent traveling to Belgium will be composed of units and branches that fought in Passchendaele as well as the band of the Royal 22e Regiment. Events will also be held across Canada to mark the centennial of the Battle of Passchendaele in collaboration with Veterans' Week events.
Members of the media who wish to cover public events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele must submit a request for accreditation through Veterans Affairs Canada by October 27, 2017. Information required for accreditation includes the individual's name, surname, media outlet and position. Interested media can request accreditation by emailing [email protected].
Commemorative ceremonies open to media will take place November 8-12, 2017. Accredited members of the media will be provided with photo and interview opportunities with delegation members and a designated area during ceremonies.
Public commemorative ceremonies to be held in Belgium include:
- Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate (Canadian themed), Ypres (Ieper), where the names of almost 7,000 Canadians are etched into the monument.
- Plaque dedication and ceremony at St. Julien Canadian Memorial, which commemorates the sacrifice of Canadian soldiers during the first gas attacks of the First World War.
- Opening ceremony for Canadian Passchendaele Memorial Garden, Passchendaele Memorial Park, where plants from every climatic region of Canada represent Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast who fought at Passchendaele.
- Canada Gate dedication followed by a Sunset ceremony, Passchendaele Canadian Memorial.
- Ceremony at Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world, where more than 1,000 Canadians are buried among 12,000 graves.
- Ceremony at the John McCrae Memorial, Essex Farm Cemetery, where the officer-surgeon wrote his world famous poem.
- Ceremony and torchlight procession, retracing the final 700 metres that Canadian soldiers conquered at a cost of more than 2,200 casualties, from Passchendaele Canadian Memorial to the Passchendaele Market Square.
- Poppy parade from Vandenpeereboomplein Square to the Menin Gate, followed by a ceremony at the Menin Gate Memorial.
- Ceremony at Hill 62 Canadian Memorial, Ieper.
- Poppies Run in Zonnebeke, to include a 5-km portion dedicated to the memory of Alexander Wuttunee Decoteau, Canada's first Indigenous-Canadian police officer and talented long-distance runner who competed for Canada at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912, who died during the Battle of Passchendaele.
For more information on Passchendaele 100 events in Canada and Belgium, please visit: canada.ca/canada-remembers.
2017 is a special year of commemoration for Canada, including the Canada 150 celebrations, the 100th anniversaries of the Battles of Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele and the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Media inquiries: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468, [email protected]