Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

May 04, 2008 10:15 ET

Government of Canada Remembers the Battle of the Atlantic

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - May 4, 2008) - Hundreds gathered at the Halifax Memorial at Point Pleasant Park this morning to mark the 65th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. Clearly visible to all ships approaching Halifax, and as one of the reminders of the Canadian lives that were lost at sea, the Halifax Memorial was a fitting site for today's ceremony.

Those who attended the ceremony include the Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs; Rear-Admiral Paul Maddison, Department of National Defence; and an official Government of Canada delegation including Veterans, representatives from Veterans' organization and youth.

"The Battle of the Atlantic symbolizes Canada's great determination over adversity. Through six years of enemy attacks and severe conditions, the Canadians protected Allied convoys and our national coastline," said Minister Thompson. "They protected us to the very end, and now it is our duty to remember their persistence and to honour their memory."

"Canadians played a pivotal role in achieving allied victory in the Battle of the Atlantic," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, who placed a wreath in remembrance of the battle today in Pictou Landing, Nova Scotia. "Those we honour and remember for their selfless contributions to this important victory during the Second World War serve as examples to the Canadian men and women of today who work to protect us and promote our values around the world.

Today was the second day of commemorative events in Halifax marking this anniversary. The delegation has honoured fallen comrades at various ceremonies of remembrance. Delegation members joined with Veterans at the Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Building for a moving ceremony, visited Pier 21, and honoured the Merchant Navy at a ceremony at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

The Battle of the Atlantic was Canada's longest military engagement of the Second World War, lasting from September 1939 to May 1945. For almost six long years, the men and women of the Canadian Merchant Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force courageously fought through enemy attacks and severe ocean storms. In May 1943, after receiving more training, air cover, special intelligence and better equipment, the battle turned significantly in favour of the Allies.

Find additional information on the Battle of the Atlantic and commemorative events, including reports and photos, on the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site at www.vac-acc.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    613-992-7468
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Richard Roik
    Director of Communications
    613-996-4649
    or
    Office of the Minister of National Defence
    Jay Paxton,
    Press secretary
    613-992-1119