Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

March 29, 2010 13:55 ET

Minister Blackburn Presents Flag from Peace Tower to Students for 65th Anniversary of Victory in Europe day in the Netherlands

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 29, 2010) - Ottawa – At a special ceremony on Parliament Hill today, the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), and Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, presented a flag to students travelling to the Netherlands for the 65th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. The students will carry the Canadian flag that had flown atop the Peace Tower, to all events they attend while in the Netherlands during the week of May 3, 2010. At the conclusion of their trip, they will present the flag to officials of the Dutch government to be displayed in the Netherlands.

"You are the next generation who will learn—first hand—the story of Canadians who did extraordinary things in the cause of freedom," said Minister Blackburn. "You will carry forward the story of the brave men and women who played a vital role in liberating the Netherlands. Those who fought there, many giving their lives, must be remembered".

"Our soldiers fought and sacrificed so much out of a sense of responsibility to a greater cause," said Rick Dykstra. "These students will have the opportunity to honour all those who were willing to place themselves in harm's way in order to protect the vulnerable and stand up for the values Canadians hold dear."

Over 2,400 Canadian students, teachers and administrators from over 85 schools across Canada are part of a tour organized by EF Educational Tours Canada. The tour will travel to the Netherlands for events leading up to the commemoration of VE-Day on May 8, the date peace was restored in Europe during the Second World War. More than 7,600 Canadians died in the nine-month campaign to liberate the Netherlands.

"We are extremely proud to be carrying the Peace Tower flag with us, and having it as part of the students' activities to honour our soldiers as they represent our country in Europe," said Erik Church, President of EF Educational Tours. "Their experiences on this journey will shape their understanding of Canada's truly great place in the world and contribute to their growth as global citizens. It is going to be a great trip."

For more information on the Second World War and the liberation of the Netherlands, please visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site at www.vac-acc.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Manager
    613-992-7468
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Sophie Doucet
    Press Secretary
    613-992-3465 or Cell: 613-608-3252
    or
    Greg Owen
    EF Educational Tours
    416-557-6936