An official Government of Canada delegation attended the closing ceremony in Ottawa after returning from their journey in France commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid.
OTTAWA, Aug. 22, 2017 /CNW/ - Canada's Veterans and those who gave their lives in service deserve our greatest recognition and appreciation. Today, we reflect on the courage and bravery shown by those who fought in the Dieppe Raid, and the contributions of Canadians during the Second World War.
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, joined the Government of Canada delegation, led by The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, for a closing ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.
The Canadian delegation returning to Canada from France included Veterans, representatives of Indigenous peoples and communities, representatives of Veterans' associations, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian youth and parliamentarians. A contingent of the Canadian Armed Forces, composed of regiments and units involved in the Raid, was also part of the delegation.
In Dieppe, France, Veterans participated in a number of commemorative events, such as wreath layings and ceremonies. While there, they had the opportunity to interact and share their stories with youth delegates who accompanied them on their journey, as well as the local population. Youth from Canada and France also had the chance to interact. The participation of the youth delegates ensures that the torch of remembrance will be passed on.
- 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 other Allied forces, 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 men were killed, wounded or taken prisoner.
- More than one million Canadians served in uniform during the Second World War. Sadly, over 45,000 Canadians lost their lives and another 55,000 were wounded in the conflict.
- Two Canadians, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Cecil Merritt and Honorary Captain John Weir Foote, were awarded the Victoria Cross for their heroic actions during the Dieppe Raid.
- On August 19, 2017, the King's Own Calgary Regiment unveiled a new monument on the Esplanade in Dieppe, France, to honour past members of its regiment who fought in the Dieppe Raid.
- 2017 is a special year of commemoration for Canada, including the Canada 150 celebrations, the 100th anniversaries of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the Battle of Passchendaele, and the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid.
"Seventy-five years ago, Canadian and Allied soldiers fought courageously in the Dieppe Raid, coming ashore against a well-entrenched enemy. It is a true honour for me to attend this ceremony. Their story of bravery and gallantry teaches us that our finest moments are often about overcoming challenges and defeats, rather than easy victories."
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada,
"On August 19, 1942, the Canadian and Allied servicemen who took part in the Dieppe Raid showed great bravery as they suffered heavy casualties. The sacrifices they made in the attempt to help end a terrible conflict will never be forgotten. We must ensure the memory of their courage and service endures."
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
- For more information on the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid, visit veterans.gc.ca/Dieppe75
- Share your thoughts at facebook.com/CanadaRemembers
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468, firstname.lastname@example.org; Rob Rosenfeld, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649