Minister of Veterans Affairs joins The Princess Royal in honouring First World War recipients of the Victoria Cross
OTTAWA, Nov. 10, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today joined Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Vice-Admiral Tim Laurence and His Excellency Howard Drake, British High Commissioner to Canada, to unveil a plaque honouring Canada's First World War Victoria Cross recipients.
The commemorative plaque will be dedicated to the 70 Canadians awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War in recognition of their valour and devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.
- Bronze plaques, inscribed with the names of Victoria Cross recipients, are being sent to their home countries as a symbol of gratitude by the people of the United Kingdom. Canada's 70 Victoria Cross recipients are the highest number of honorees outside the United Kingdom.
- Considered the highest military honour for valour, the Victoria Cross was awarded to those who performed an act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy. "FOR VALOUR" is inscribed at the bottom of the Victoria Cross medal.
- More than 650,000 men and women from Canada and Newfoundland served in the First World War—over 66,000 gave their lives and more than 172,000 were wounded.
"It is with tremendous pride that I witness the unveiling of this commemorative plaque recognizing 70 remarkable Canadians who were awarded the Victoria Cross for their valour during the First World War. As a nation, we must never forget the heavy price they paid to defend and protect our shared values of peace, freedom and democracy."
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs
"I am deeply honoured to present this plaque, a gift from the people of the United Kingdom, in the presence of Her Royal Highness and the brave men and women of our armed forces. The First World War was a defining moment for both Canada and Britain and one that profoundly strengthened our relationship. The self-sacrifice and valour by those whose names now adorn the very walls of the British High Commission will be a permanent and public reminder of the values we share and hold so dear."
His Excellency Howard Drake, British High Commissioner to Canada
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