Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

July 05, 2005 10:55 ET

Minister of Veterans Affairs Pays Respects at Canadian War Memorials in France

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - July 5, 2005) - Embracing the importance of remembrance, during the Year of the Veteran, the Minister of Veterans Affairs visited historic sites and monuments in France from July 3-5 to honour Veterans and pay tribute to Canadians who served during the First and Second World Wars.

Over the three-day period the Honourable Albina Guarnieri, Minister of Veterans Affairs, laid a wreath at Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, the place of rest for those who fell during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy; and visited the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial, which is dedicated to the memory of the Newfoundlanders who served during the First World War and who have no known grave. The Minister also spoke with Canadian students who work as guides at the Beaumont-Hamel and Canadian National Vimy Memorial sites.

"I am in awe every time I visit any site that honours and pays tribute to our Veterans. However, these particular monuments stand tall as unforgettable milestones in history," said Minister Guarnieri. "I was especially pleased to meet with the Canadian students who work at these sites and to see how they are keeping the memories of Canada's Veterans and war dead alive."

On July 5, Minister Guarnieri visited the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, which is currently being restored as part of a project by the Government of Canada to restore 13 Canadian war memorials in France and Belgium. The Vimy Memorial is a place of remembrance dedicated to those soldiers who died in the victorious battle at Vimy Ridge and who have no known grave.

"Having been briefed on the restoration of the Vimy Memorial, I was eager to see the site for myself," said Minister Guarnieri. "I am impressed with the progress that has been made to date and am looking forward to seeing the memorial restored to its original beauty."

For safety reasons, it is not possible at this time for visitors to have direct access to the Vimy monument itself. Other areas of the 100-hectare memorial site remain open and alternate commemorative experiences are offered. Restoration of the Memorial is scheduled to be complete by December 2006.

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

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    (613) 992-7468
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Corey Hobbs
    Director of Communications Office of the Minister of Veteran
    (613) 947-4908