Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

March 02, 2010 14:15 ET

Government of Canada to Mark the End of an Era

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 2, 2010) – Today, the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), announced plans for the Government of Canada to appropriately honour and recognize all Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served during the First World War. The announcement follows the death of John "Jack" Babcock, Canada's last known First World War Veteran, who passed away on February 18, 2010.

"While we have lost our last direct link to the First World War, we will continue to encourage young Canadians to remember and understand our proud military history and heritage," said Minister Blackburn. "The First World War is a defining part of the Canada we know today and it is a legacy that must be preserved for generations to come."

The Government of Canada will hold a national commemorative ceremony honouring all of Canada's First World War service men and women to pay tribute to their achievements and contributions. The ceremony will be held on "Vimy Ridge Day," Friday, April 9, 2010 in Ottawa at the National War Memorial—a symbol of the sacrifices of all Canadians who have served Canada in times of war in the cause of peace and freedom. 

A number of other significant ceremonies of remembrance will be held on Friday, April 9 in locations across Canada and in our Allied nations of France and England. These will include international commemorative ceremonies that will take place at both the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, in France and at the Canada Memorial at Green Park, in London, England. In addition to this, some provinces and territories plan to conduct a commemorative ceremony in their respective capitals.

The Government of Canada is also providing the opportunity for the public to pay their respects by signing special Books of Reflection which will be on display at locations across Canada, including Parliament Hill, Rideau Hall, the Canadian War Museum as well as at each Provincial/Territorial Legislature. Books will also be available overseas at the Vimy Ridge National Historic Site, the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial National Historic Site, Canada House in London, England, and at the Canadian Forces Base in Kandahar. An online version of the Books of Reflection will also be available on the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site.

"Those who served our country during the First World War have often been called our Greatest Generation," said Minister Blackburn. "They earned that title. They deserve it. And the National Commemorative Ceremony will pay tribute to their great sacrifices, to their great achievements and to the many contributions they have made for all Canadians."

"We often take for granted our values and freedoms that this generation defended," said Minister Blackburn. "As we witness the end of an era, I encourage every Canadian to pause and reflect on the history that has made us who we are today."

For more information on plans to mark the end of an era, visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site at

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Sophie Doucet
    Press Secretary
    Cell: 613-608-3252