TARBES, France, July 14, 2014 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Government of Canada, Dave Van Kesteren, Member of Parliament for Chatham–Kent–Essex, marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of France at commemorative ceremonies in Southwest France. The City of Tarbes, France, honoured Resistance associations and the Allied forces of the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States as part of the anniversary ceremonies. Mr. Van Kesteren participated in wreath-laying ceremonies at a cemetery at Pic du Douly, the Cenotaph of the City of Lannemezan and the Communal Cemetery of Nistos on July 12, and today at the Monument de la Résistance of Tarbes.
As part of the ceremonies, Mr. Van Kesteren also received the Spanish Guerilleros Flag, which will be passed on to the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment in Chatham, Ontario.
Mr. Van Kesteren was also accompanied by Dennis Poole, Chatham–Kent Chief of Police, Walter Tomaszewski, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 28 Pipe Band, and Major John Hodgins, Deputy Commanding Officer, Essex and Kent Scottish.
- The Southwest region of France liberated itself in 1944 with the assistance of the Resistance, the Special Operations Executive, the Office of Strategic Services, and the Royal Air Force (RAF).
"The sterling reputation of the Canadian Armed Forces was forged in no small measure by Canada's efforts on European fields of battle. The vital role that Canadians played during the liberation of France is a shining example of their bravery and commitment to freedom. We must always remember and honour the generations of Canadians who bravely served, and continue to serve."
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs
"It is an honour to represent all Canadians at these ceremonies. We are forever grateful to those who served in France all those years ago. What Canadians achieved at that time and in that place is the very definition of a nation punching above its weight. I am so very proud of Canada's ongoing commitment to honour their service and sacrifices."
Dave Van Kesteren, Member of Parliament for Chatham–Kent–Essex
- Canada Remembers Second World War feature
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SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Barbara Mottram, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649; Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468