OTTAWA, Oct. 2, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today issued the following statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Scheldt during the Second World War.
"On October 2, 1944, the First Canadian Army launched a series of offensive actions along the Scheldt River, to clear the region of its occupiers and open up shipping routes that would be pivotal to Allied success in Northwest Europe. Joined by Allied soldiers, this large Canadian-led force battled flooded, muddy terrain and well-fortified German defences for more than five long weeks. Their victory paved the way for the final liberation of Belgium and the Netherlands but it came at a heavy price with almost 13,000 killed, wounded or missing, including more than 6,000 Canadians.
"Today, on the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Scheldt, we honour the tremendous courage, sacrifices and achievements of the brave Canadian men and women who risked so much to end the occupation of Western Europe during the Second World War. As a nation, we are forever grateful for their willingness to defend our shared values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
"Lest we forget."
For information about Canada's role in the Battle of the Scheldt, please visit veterans.gc.ca.
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Contacts: Barbara Mottram, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649; Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468