Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 18, 2007 09:00 ET

Media Advisory: Nijmegen Marchers Honour the Fallen at Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 18, 2007) - The contingent of some 220 Canadian Forces (CF) personnel participating in this year's International Four Days Marches Nijmegen will pay their respects at the Groesbeek Commonwealth War Cemetery, the final resting place of more than 2,300 Canadian soldiers and airmen who died fighting to liberate the Netherlands in 1944 and 1945, July 19.

The inclusion of the Groesbeek Cemetery memorial service as part of the Nijmegen Marches is a lasting testimony to the extraordinary affection the Dutch and the international community have shown Canadians since the Second World War. Military marchers from all countries halt there on day three to pay respects, while larger contingents lay wreaths. These ceremonies take place around the Canadian ceremony, which is considered by many to be the most important event of the gruelling four-day marches.

Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery contains the largest number of Canadian war dead in the Netherlands. In addition to the 2,338 Canadian graves, the cemetery contains the Groesbeek Memorial, which commemorates 1,103 members of the forces of the British Commonwealth who died during the campaign in North-West Europe who have no known grave.

The International Four Days Marches Nijmegen is a prestigious Dutch marching event Canadian military contingents have participated in every year since 1952. Over the course of the event, which will take place July 17-20, 2007, all participants must complete a 160 km march while carrying a standard military rucksack weighing at least 10 kg. The Nijmegen Marches is also the world's largest walking event, attracting thousands of civilian participants as well as hundreds of other military teams. More than 40,000 marchers from at least 50 nations are expected to participate this year.

NOTE TO NEWS/ASSIGNMENT EDITORS:

Interviews can be arranged between Canadian media outlets and Canadian Forces personnel who are in Nijmegen by contacting the Public Affairs Officer on location, Ms. Tina Crouse, at: 613-286-2398.

As still imagery of the Nijmegen Marches is obtained it will be posted on the Combat Camera website at: www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca

For information on Canadian Forces participation in the Nijmegen Marches, visit: http://www.forces.gc.ca

Additional information on the Groesbeek Memorial can be found on Veterans Affairs Canada website at: http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=memorials/ww2mem/groesbeek

For further information, visit the official website of the International Four Days Marches Nijmegen at: http://www.4daagse.nl/index.asp?taal=en&pagina=homepagina&interactivepage

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