OTTAWA, April 25, 2013 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, Mr. Erin O'Toole, Member of Parliament for Durham, today laid a wreath in memory of fallen Australian and New Zealand military members during an Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day commemorative ceremony at the Canadian War Museum.
Minister Blaney attended a similar ANZAC Day commemorative ceremony at the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul, in the Republic of Korea.
"Canada shares in the loss of Australia and New Zealand's brave men and women who served and sacrificed during the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War and in other more recent conflicts such as Afghanistan," said Minister Blaney. "Our countries have a common military heritage which has brought us to work together on many occasions to defend our values of peace, freedom, democracy and the rule of law."
On April 25, 1915, the Australians and New Zealanders, fighting together for the first time, helped established a foothold at Gallipoli, in what is now modern-day Turkey, during the First World War. By the end of the campaign, more than 8,700 Australian and 2,700 New Zealand soldiers had sacrificed their lives in the effort to knock the Ottoman Empire out of the war. April 25 officially became known as ANZAC Day to honour their sacrifice and today it is a national day of remembrance in both countries. ANZAC Day later came to commemorate all those who lost their lives lost in the First and Second World Wars, as well as in subsequent military operations.
"Canada is proud to have served alongside Australia and New Zealand during the First and Second World Wars," said MP O'Toole. "Today we join them in remembering those who served, and most importantly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice."
The Newfoundland Regiment, which would come to be officially named the Royal Newfoundland Regiment later in the conflict, was the only North American unit to fight alongside ANZAC forces in the Gallipoli Campaign.
For more information on the Gallipoli Campaign during the First World War, visit veterans.gc.ca.
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Jean-Christophe de Le Rue
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs