Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 22, 2011 13:32 ET

Canadian Forces Contingent Successfully Completes the Nijmegen Marches

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 22, 2011) - After four difficult days of walking, and hundreds of sore feet, the members of the Canadian Forces (CF) contingent successfully completed the 95th annual International Four Days Marches Nijmegen. Consisting of more than 200 soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen from units across Canada, the Canadian contingent can be proud of themselves for having finished one of the most prestigious long-distance walking events in the world.

"It was an honour and privilege to participate in the Nijmegen Marches," said Rear-Admiral Andy Smith, Chief Military Personnel and CF sponsor for the contingent, who walked alongside the Canadians on the third day of the marches. "Covering the same terrain on which brave Canadians fought many years ago made me proud to be a member of the Canadian Forces. Once again, the contingent represented our country exceedingly well and I would like to congratulate everyone on successfully completing this strenuous, yet very rewarding, march."

Led by Brigadier-General J.C. Madower, Assistant Chief Military Personnel, the Canadian contingent, including the following VIPs marchers: the Honourable Laurie Hawn, Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Edmonton Centre; Mr. Blaine Calkins, M.P. for Wetaskiwin, Alberta; Honorary Colonel Dennis Erker, Loyal Edmonton Regiment; Colonel J. Hausmann, U.S. Defence Attaché to Canada; as well as Sergeant (Ret'd) Joe Brink of the Royal Canadian Legion, marched 40 km a day, for four days in a row, while wearing standard combat clothing and carrying a military rucksack weighing at least 10 kilograms.

After completing the grueling 160 km march, members of the CF contingent were presented the Four Day Marches Cross by Brig.-Gen. Madower during a ceremony held at Charlemagne Field, Nijmegen. With the Air Command Band in the lead, the contingent then marched downtown Nijmegen for the Victory Parade – also called the "Via Gladiola" for the thousands flowers thrown at the marchers along the way by throngs of cheering Dutch spectators.

The 2011 Nijmegen Marches marked the first time participation of CF ill and injured members. Throughout the CF contingent's training period, all teams raised a total of $17 232.00 which will be donated to both the Military Families and Soldier On funds.

Notes to editor / news director: Media agencies can request interviews with CF personnel who participated in Nijmegen by contacting the Media Liaison Office at 1-866-377-0811 or 613-996-2353.

Still imagery is available on the Canadian Forces Image Gallery at: http://www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca/common/combatcamera/index-eng.asp.

Imagery and stories of the Nijmegen Marches are posted on the following website: http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/nij-nim/index-eng.asp

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