Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

November 06, 2007 19:15 ET

Candlelight Tribute Honours Canada's Veterans

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 6, 2007) - In a moving ceremony this evening at Lansdowne Park, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity), on behalf of the Honourable
Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, joined over 800 Veterans and 150 youth in a symbolic candlelight tribute to mark Veterans' Week 2007.

"The men and women who have served Canada in uniform are the very foundation of what this country is about and who we are as Canadians," said Minister Thompson. "For their courage, devotion, achievements and sacrifice, our grateful nation pays tribute to them throughout Veterans' Week."

Veterans and Canadian Forces members were paired with cadets, Scouts, Cubs and students to form a procession led by Secretary of State Kenney and Mayor Larry O'Brien. As the procession approached the dais, the Veterans and CF members passed their candles to their accompanying youth members who then placed the candles in rows at the base of the dais.

"Tonight we let the light from our candles cast an immortalizing glow in memory of all those who fell in service to our country," said Secretary of State Kenney. "However, our young Canadians must be the champions to hold high the light of remembrance so that our Veterans' stories burn brightly for generations to come."

Candlelight ceremonies began in the Netherlands as a symbol of gratitude for those who liberated the country during the Second World War. In 1995, during a special ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, Dutch children placed lit candles on the graves of Canadian soldiers and the candles remained lit overnight in silent tribute. Residents were drawn to the cemeteries by the soft glow of the candles burning in the dark. Since then, commemorative candlelight tributes have become annual ceremonies, not only in the Netherlands, but across Canada as well.

The theme for Veterans' Week 2007, November 5 to 11, is Lest We Forget. For more information on Veterans' Week events across Canada, or to add an event to the Veterans' Week events list, please visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site at www.vac-acc.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    613-992-7468
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Richard Roik
    Director of Communications
    613-996-4649