TORONTO, Nov. 9, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today joined the Honourable Consiglio Di Nino and representatives from Villa Charities to announce up to $50,000 for a project in Toronto to honour Canadian soldiers who took part in the Italian Campaign during the Second World War. The funding, provided through the Community War Memorial Program, will support the construction of a new monument spearheaded by Peace Through Valour.
"In 1943, Canadian soldiers landed in Italy where they played a vital role in the bitter campaign there until February 1945," said Minister Fantino. "These brave men faced difficult battles as they fought for the same peace and freedoms our men and women continue to defend today. It is our responsibility as Canadians to honour their sacrifices, and to show our thanks and appreciation for all they have done."
"We certainly appreciate the contribution that Veterans Affairs Canada has made to honour a group of Canadians who valiantly fought for peace in a very difficult campaign which has been principally ignored," said the Honourable Consiglio Di Nino.
Villa Charities Inc. will construct the Peace Through Valour monument to commemorate Canadian Veterans of the Italian Campaign. This project will raise awareness about the Canadian soldiers who fought in the Italian Campaign and ensure their stories and sacrifices will be remembered.
The Italian Campaign was one of the longest and fiercest struggles of the Second World War. Of the more than 93,000 Canadians who served in this campaign, nearly 6,000 would lay down their lives. The values of peace, freedom and justice for which they fought in Italy's mountains, valleys and rubble-filled streets are the same values our military men and women continue to protect today.
In 2013, Veterans Affairs Canada has engaged Canadians in remembrance by investing just under $1.8 million to help over 170 groups and organizations across the country honour Canada's Veterans:
- 25 new memorials are being constructed with Community War Memorial Program contributions of up to $797,468;
- 36 memorial restoration projects are underway thanks to Cenotaph/Monument Restoration Program funding of up to $393,322; and
- 109 partnerships were established with non-profit groups and organizations for commemorative activities and projects through Community Engagement Partnership Fund investments of up to $567,159.
This Veterans' Week, your challenge is to show you remember. Wearing a poppy, attending a local Remembrance Day ceremony and changing your Facebook profile picture to a poppy are all ways to remember and honour Veterans. Visit veterans.gc.ca/iremember to get interactive and share your thoughts or to find commemorative events in your community.
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
For further information:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs