Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

April 25, 2012 08:15 ET

Minister MacKay Commemorates ANZAC Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 25, 2012) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement on the occasion of ANZAC Day:

"Today, Canada recognizes ANZAC Day, the most important national day of commemoration in Australia and New Zealand.

ANZAC Day honours members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought in the 1915 campaign at Gallipoli, Turkey, during the First World War. In that campaign, 28,000 Australians and 7,500 New Zealanders were killed or wounded in battle. In the decades since the end of the First World War, ANZAC Day commemorates all who served and died in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.

Canada, particularly Newfoundland and Labrador, has a special connection to the origins of ANZAC Day. The Royal Newfoundland Regiment was the only North American regiment involved in the campaign, and 115 members of the Regiment died or were wounded in the battle.

Despite the thousands of miles that separate our countries, Canada, Australia and New Zealand share a similar view of the world on a variety of issues, fostered by our shared history and culture, and our parliamentary, legal, social and defence traditions. Canada, Australia and New Zealand work together in a number of international forums, including the United Nations where we deal with issues of relevance to our three countries in the CANZ group, the Commonwealth of Nations. All three nations have contributed mightily to the UN-mandated, NATO-led mission to Afghanistan.

We also have a long tradition of defence cooperation, and maintain that cooperation through exercises, training, staff exchanges, and operations such as East Timor, Bosnia and Afghanistan.

On this day, we stand with our close allies Australia and New Zealand to honour their war dead, and acknowledge the valuable role they have played in contributing to peace and security around the world.

Lest we forget."

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