Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

March 30, 2005 14:19 ET

Media Advisory: Media Invited to Participate in Veterans' 60th Anniversary Return to the Netherlands



MARCH 30, 2005 - 14:19 ET

Media Advisory: Media Invited to Participate in
Veterans' 60th Anniversary Return to the Netherlands

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 30, 2005) - The Government of
Canada is organizing a 60th anniversary commemorative trip to the
Netherlands May 1-10, 2005 for an official Canadian delegation including
Second World War veterans who participated in the Liberation of the
Netherlands in 1944-1945. Media interested in being a part of this
special Year of the Veteran overseas event should contact Veterans
Affairs Canada at the number below, by April 6. Please note, spaces are
limited. In addition, media representatives planning to travel on their
own to cover the liberation events are encouraged to contact Veterans
Affairs Canada for information on media requirements - including
accreditation - and media centre operations, and other useful background.

The Honourable Albina Guarnieri, Minister of Veterans Affairs, will lead
the delegation of approximately 130 veterans (selected by their
regimental associations or other veterans' organizations), who represent
all the units and services that participated in the Liberation of the
Netherlands. They will return to some of the towns and cities that they
liberated and visit the war cemeteries where most of the 7,600 Canadians
who died in the liberation campaign are buried. Thirteen youth delegates
representing all of Canada's provinces and territories will travel with
them, and will share their experiences via the Internet with their peers
in the Netherlands and Canada. The delegation will also include a
significant Canadian Forces ceremonial contingent.

Canada is organizing a major commemorative ceremony May 3 at Groesbeek
Canadian War Cemetery (2,338 Canadian graves). On May 6, a commemorative
plaque will be unveiled in Apeldoorn, recognizing the designation by the
Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada of the Liberation of the
Netherlands as an event of national historic significance to Canada. In
addition, numerous events are being conducted by the Dutch to mark the
60th anniversary of the end of the country's occupation and the
liberation. The delegation will participate in some of them, including a
ceremony May 4 at the Holten Canadian War Cemetery (1,355 Canadian
graves), and the major veterans' parade May 8 in Apeldoorn, where it is
anticipated tens of thousands of grateful Dutch citizens will cheer and
thank veterans parading in vintage military vehicles.

In addition to the official delegation, hundreds of Canadian veterans
will return to the Netherlands with travel groups or on their own and
attend many of these events. The first 1,500 Canadian veterans of the
liberation campaign who wish to travel on their own to the Netherlands
to attend the official Canadian delegation commemorative events, can
apply to Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) to be reimbursed up to a maximum
of $1,000 in accommodation and/or air travel costs.

VAC covers transportation and accommodation expenses of media delegates;
for those with pay policies, these expenses are estimated to be
approximately $3,500 per person.

For more information on the Netherlands overseas events and the history
of the Canadians in this theatre, visit the Veterans Affairs Canada web
site at The special feature on the anniversary of the
Liberation of the Netherlands will include regular updates of interest
to reporters.

2005 is the Year of the Veteran: Celebrate. Honour. Remember. Teach.


Contact Information

    Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby (Media Enquiries)
    Media Relations Advisor
    (613) 992-7468
    Veterans Affairs Canada
    (All Other Enquiries)