Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

August 08, 2008 13:25 ET

Minister Thompson Marks the 90th Anniversary of the End of the First World War

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 8, 2008) - They didn't know it then, but the brave Canadians serving at home and abroad 90 years ago today were helping to launch what we now regard as "The Last Hundred Days" of the First World War.

The Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, announced today that the Government of Canada will mark the 90th anniversary of these pivotal 100 days with commemorative events across the country and in Europe.

"The sacrifices and achievements of our service men and women in the First World War helped to define Canada as a nation and shape the country in which we live today," said Minister Thompson. "We will never forget the great debt we owe them."

Joining the Minister today for the launch at the Canadian War Museum were Dr. Tim Cook, an historian with the Canadian War Museum, and Sylvain Hamel, a theatrical re-enactor who performed a monologue on life as a Canadian soldier in the First World War. Also joining the Minister were Veterans, students and cadets.

Over the next few months, Minister Thompson will attend a variety of other commemorative events in Canada and abroad. The remembrance activities will culminate in November with Minister Thompson leading a delegation of Veterans, youth and parliamentarians to France and Belgium for a series of events, including an international ceremony on Remembrance Day. Thirteen youth, one from each province and territory, will take part in the trip as they learn about Canada's role in the First World War and share their learning experiences with other Canadian youth following their return home.

"As we mark the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War, it is also a fitting time to reflect on the men and women who continue the proud tradition of serving Canada as our nation's truest heroes," said Minister Thompson. "They are defending the same values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law that Canadians stood up for 90 years ago.

And today, Canada is re-emerging on the world stage as a strong and powerful voice for freedom. We are once again investing in the equipment and resources our men and women in uniform need to do their jobs. Canadians expect this of us because the world needs a strong and sovereign Canada."

Ninety years ago, as the Allies made their plans for winning the war, Canada was at the forefront of many of the final attacks. By the end of the First World War, Canada-at the time a country of less than eight million citizens-would see more than 650,000 men and women serve. The last known First World War Veteran who served Canada, Mr. John Babcock, is an ambassador for all those who served.

To learn more about the First World War and to participate in commemorative events, visit www.vac-acc.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Heather MacDonald
    A/Media Relations Advisor
    613-992-7428
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Richard Roik
    Director of Communications
    613-996-4649