OTTAWA, Aug. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today issued the following statement to mark the launch of the World Wars Commemoration period and the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.
"One hundred years ago the world was plunged into war—a war so brutal and tragic that people believed it would end all future conflicts.
"Sadly, they were wrong, and 25 years later, history repeated itself with a Second World War.
"To this day, we struggle to comprehend the sheer scale of the death and destruction unleashed by these two horrific wars. No community across our country was left unscathed by the terrible loss of life, and our nation still mourns her fallen sons and daughters.
"Today, our Government is launching the World Wars Commemoration period to remember and honour the service and sacrifice of the courageous Canadians who were there for our country when we needed them, at home and abroad.
"Between now and 2020, we will commemorate Canada's many milestone anniversaries and significant achievements during the two World Wars, beginning with today's 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and next month's 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War.
"We must never forget the more than 650,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served in the First World War and the more than one million Canadian and Newfoundland men and women who served in the Second World War. They were willing to risk everything to protect the peace and freedom we cherish today.
"The World Wars Commemoration period will ensure that future generations share our enduring pride and gratitude for those who sacrificed so much for this great country we call Canada.
"Lest we forget."
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