OTTAWA, Nov. 10, 2017 /CNW/ - The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement honouring the bravery shown by Canadian soldiers in the mud of Ypres, Belgium, a century ago today.
"During the Battle of Passchendaele and throughout the First World War, the Canadian Corps made extraordinary sacrifices to ensure the survival of democracy and freedom, both in Canada and across the globe.
"In early October 1917, the Canadian Corps was sent to relieve Australian and New Zealand forces fighting alongside British troops. Led by Lieutenant-General Arthur Currie, the four divisions of the Canadian Corps launched the offensive on October 26, 1917. By November 10, the valour displayed by Canadian soldiers had allowed them to capture the Village of Passchendaele and the eastern edge of the Passchendaele Ridge. Sadly, more than 4,000 Canadian soldiers died and almost 12,000 were wounded by the end of the battle.
"The successes of the Canadian Corps at the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the Battle of Passchendaele reinforced its reputation as an offensive fighting force on the Western Front. While the cost was great, the valiant actions of our soldiers during the First World War earned Canada new respect.
"As we mark Canada 150, we continue to remember and praise the courage of the Canadians who served our nation in the First World War. In Europe, in Canada and around the world their selflessness provided us the opportunity to become the nation we are today.
"Lest we forget."
For more information on the Battle of Passchendaele please visit Canada.ca/Canada-Remembers
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SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468, firstname.lastname@example.org; Media Relations, Department of National Defence, 613-996-2353, email@example.com