OTTAWA, Nov. 6, 2015 /CNW/ - Once again this year, all VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) employees will join the vast Royal Canadian Legion (the Legion) family, all through Veterans' Week, to pay tribute to those who signed up to serve their country with dedication and paid the ultimate price, with their lives. VIA Rail is partnering with the Legion to present a poppy to all passengers who travel on its trains across the country during the week before Remembrance Day. As such, 20,000 poppies will be distributed until November 11, and this emblem will also be displayed on some VIA Rail cars.
"We pay tribute to all Canadian soldiers with tremendous humility. These men and women have – and continue to – come to the defence of what we value most: our freedom. They deserve our heartfelt appreciation. We humbly pay tribute to them, and their families, for their courage, their bravery and their immense sacrifice. They have been – and remain – our bulwark against all threats, past and present, that attack or seek to undermine our most cherished values," declared Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail.
"Since 1921, the Poppy has been recognized by all Canadians as the symbol of Remembrance, a visible sign of our pledge to never forget the 117,000 soldiers who have fallen on the battlefield or during military operations to protect the freedoms we enjoy today. Thanks to the support of VIA Rail and Canadians everywhere, the National Poppy Campaign raises the funds required to help veterans in need and their families, and the Poppy is pivotal to the Legion's efforts to carry on the Remembrance tradition. We therefore deeply appreciate VIA Rail's involvement, and I would invite all Canadians to join the Legion and wear a Poppy," declared Tom Eagles, Dominion President of the Royal Canadian Legion.
Since 2010, almost 120,000 military personnel have travelled on VIA Rail trains – a sign of the long and happy relationship between passenger rail and the armed forces. The train, which goes as far back as our collective memory – more significantly during the First and Second World Wars – has been used to transport military personnel to the Atlantic coast, where general cargo ships were waiting to take them to the European continent. Trains were also used to convey numerous soldiers to their homes, once they had reached Canadian soil after sustaining injuries on the battlefield.
VIA Rail has always sought to preserve this historic association, offering members of the Canadian Forces, as well as veterans and their families, a 25% reduction on ticket prices for the best fare offered, with no restrictions on routes or dates.
About the Royal Canadian Legion
The Legion, created in 1926, is Canada's largest veteran service organization, with 300,000 members. Its mission is to help all veterans, including active members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and their families, perpetuate Remembrance and serve our communities and our country. The Legion's Service Bureau Network offers all veterans help and representational services for their disability and other benefits, as well as services provided by Veterans Affairs Canada and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. Remembrance is kept alive by the Legion through Remembrance Day ceremonies and the Poppy campaign conducted in communities across Canada. With more than 1,420 branches, the Legion supports programs for seniors, housing, awareness-building and visits, developing leadership among youth, education, sports, cadets, Scouts and Guides. We will remember them.
About VIA Rail
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada (viarail.ca) and its 2,500 employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. The Corporation was presented seven Safety Awards by the Railway Association of Canada over the past eight years, and was the recipient of the 2012 Agent's Choice Award voted by Canadian travel agents and presented by Baxter Travel Media. Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested almost a billion dollars in VIA Rail. About VIA Rail: www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.
SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.
For further information: Julie Perrone, Senior Advisor, Corporate Communications, VIA Rail Canada, 514 871-6197, 1 877 393-8787, [email protected], [email protected]; Bruce Poulin, Communications Manager, Royal Canadian Legion, 613 591-3335, extension 241, 1 888 556-6222, [email protected], www.legion.ca