OTTAWA, June 19, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today issued the following statement to honour the courageous efforts made by four Canadian soldiers during the Second World War in saving the life of young Gino Farnetti-Bragaglia.
"It is with pride that we remember the compassion displayed by Canadian soldiers Lloyd "Red" Oliver, Paul Hagen, Mert Massey, and Doug Walker. The role they played in Gino's incredible story of survival is truly commendable.
"In 1944, in the aftermath of a deadly battle near the town of Torrice, Italy, Canadian soldiers went above the call of duty to save Gino, a young and starving orphan. These four courageous Canadian soldiers temporarily adopted Gino as their own, providing him with food, care, and kindness. As they departed Italy in 1945 to join the rest of the Canadian Army in Northwest Europe, young Gino had recovered from his injuries and was safe from danger.
"I am pleased to welcome Gino to Canada this week and I am honoured to acknowledge his reunion with the families of these four soldiers, whose selfless actions saved a young boy during a time of war. They are remembered as Canadian heroes and must never be forgotten.
"We also remember the more than 93,000 Canadians who bravely fought against tyranny and fascism during the Italian Campaign. Italians like Gino and I will never forget the vital role Canada played in the liberation of Italy during the Second World War."
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