Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 21, 2009 15:48 ET

Canadian Forces Contingent Begins Nijmegen Marches

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 21, 2009) - This morning, 190 soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen from units across Canada rose before dawn to begin the first leg of the 93rd Internationale Vierdaagse Afstandmarsen Nijmegen (International Four-Day Marches Nijmegen). To complete this prestigious long-distance walking event, they will cover 160 km through the Dutch countryside and cities while carrying at least 10kg on their backs over the next four days.

Organized in 15 teams, the members of the Canadian Forces contingent have trained for months to be selected for Operation NIJMEGEN 2009. Each marcher completed distances ranging from 800 km to more than 1,000 km to develop the physical and mental stamina the event demands.

For Canadian Forces members, the Nijmegen Marches is more than a personal test of endurance; it is an opportunity to walk the ground where thousands of Canadian soldiers fought during the Second World War. The soldiers of First Canadian Army took the city of Nijmegen in 1944, and deployed from that area to complete the liberation of the Netherlands and fight through to Germany in 1945. The annual participation of the Canadian Forces in the Nijmegen Marches pays tribute to those who sacrificed their lives to bring freedom to the Dutch people.

The members of the Canadian Forces contingent march in a spirit of international camaraderie with military and civilian participants from around the world. The Nijmegen Marches is the world's largest walking event, and approximately 45,000 marchers from at least 50 nations, as well as over a million spectators, are expected to participate this year.

Notes for news and assignment editors:

Media agencies can request interviews with Canadian Forces personnel in Nijmegen by contacting the Media Liaison Office at 1-866-377-0811 or 613-996-2353.

Imagery, information and stories on the Canadian Forces participation in the Nijmegen Marches will be posted on the CEFCOM Website at http://www.cefcom-comfec.forces.gc.ca

Canadian Forces Combat Camera posts B-roll video and still photos of the Nijmegen Marches at www.combatcamera.ca/news/ for B-roll and www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca for stills.

For further information, visit the official website of the International Four Days Marches Nijmegen at http://www.4daagse.nl/index.php/en.html.

Contact Information

  • Information: 1-866-377-0811/613-996-2353
    After hours: 613-792-2973
    www.forces.gc.ca