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Veterans’ Week: Take Time to Remember, says Blaney

By Kristina Skorbach
Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 7, 2012 Last Updated: November 8, 2012
Related articles: Canada » National
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Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney places a wreath on the National War Memorial during a Veterans’ Week ceremony in Ottawa on Nov. 6, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs Eve Adams looks on. (The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld)

Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney places a wreath on the National War Memorial during a Veterans’ Week ceremony in Ottawa on Nov. 6, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs Eve Adams looks on. (The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld)

With Veterans’ Week underway, Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney is reminding Canadians to “take time to remember” by wearing a poppy or attending a local ceremony commemorating those who risked or gave their lives during war and conflict.

“Veterans’ Week is a time when we pause to reflect on the courageous efforts of the men and women in uniform who have served this country, and those who continue to serve today,” Blaney said in a statement.

“I encourage Canadians to find their own personal way of honouring and remembering the contributions of Canada’s veterans whose legacy is the peace and security we continue to enjoy today.”

Blaney noted that this year celebrates many milestones, such as the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the capture of Passchendaele, as well as the 70th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid.

During the week, hundreds of commemorative ceremonies and events will take place around the country to remember the achievements of Canada’s veterans and to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

A ceremony in the Senate Chamber on Nov. 2 to launch Veteran’s Week focused on Canada’s role in the Battle of Passchendaele that took place during the First World War.

The gruelling battle resulted in the capture of the village of Passchendaele and the surrounding ridge, with the struggle finally drawing to a close on Nov. 10, 1917. Canada lost more than 4,000 soldiers in the fighting and 12,000 more were wounded.

On Monday, the Canadian War Museum unveiled a rare collection of three Victoria Cross Medals awarded to war veterans who were residents of Pine Street in Winnipeg, now called Valour Road.

Eric Clarke and Doug Cargo admire the new display of three Victoria Cross Medals awarded during the First World War to residents of Winnipeg’s Valour Road. The medals were unveiled at the Canadian War Museum Nov. 5 and will remain on permanent display in the Royal Canadian Legion Hall of Honour. (CNW Group/Canadian War Museum)

Eric Clarke and Doug Cargo admire the new display of three Victoria Cross Medals awarded during the First World War to residents of Winnipeg’s Valour Road. The medals were unveiled at the Canadian War Museum Nov. 5 and will remain on permanent display in the Royal Canadian Legion Hall of Honour. (CNW Group/Canadian War Museum)

The collection was completed with the recent acquisition of the medal awarded in 1915 to Company Sergeant Major Frederick William Hall. The War Museum acquired the Valour Road Victoria Crosses of Lieutenant Robert Shankland and Corporal Lionel B. Clarke in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

Only 96 Victoria Crosses were awarded to Canadians in the medal’s 156-year history. With the acquisition of Hall’s Victoria Cross, the Canadian War Museum now has 33 Victoria Crosses in its collection: one from the nineteenth century, twenty eight from the First World War, and four from the Second World War.

“Our Government is very proud to see this extraordinary story displayed in the War Museum’s collection and shared with other museums and institutions across the country,” James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, said in a statement.

The medals will remain on permanent display in the Royal Canadian Legion Hall of Honour.

On Nov. 3 in France, many Canadian and French citizens gathered at the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial to pay tribute to those who served their countries from the First World War to today

Vice-Admiral Bob Davidson, Canadian Military Representative to NATO, addressed the gathering on behalf of Blaney.

“Today, we remember the staggering losses sustained by the 1st Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont-Hamel on July 1, 1916,” he said.

“There are few places in the world that serve as a greater testament to the incredible history of our nation or to the strength of our people than Beaumont-Hamel. This monument reminds us of the tremendous courage and sacrifices of Canada’s Veterans.”

For more information on remembrance events and activities in your area, visit veterans.gc.ca

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