Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

May 19, 2012 14:00 ET

Minister Rob Nicholson Attends 75th Annual Pilgrimage to Honour Veterans

NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 19, 2012) - On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, attended a ceremony of remembrance in honour of the 75th Annual Pilgrimage to the Cenotaph in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

"It is our sacred duty to remember and honour our Veterans and the brave men and women in uniform who serve our countries so selflessly," said Minister Blaney. "Our Government commends La Société des Quarante Hommes et Huit Cheveaux as well as the Branch 51 of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch, in Niagara Falls, for organizing this special event involving our Canadian and American heroes who bravely served our great countries."

"It is astonishing how such a small yet significant gesture 75 years ago led to a large-scale annual event such as this," said Minister Nicholson. "Through events like these, we are preserving the legacy of our Veterans and ensuring that younger generations are aware of the significant contributions made to our military history, by both Canadian and American Veterans."

The event, hosted by La Société des Quarante Hommes et Huit Cheveaux (40 & 8 Society) and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 51, is held on the third Saturday of May each year. The pilgrimage began in 1937 when two American First World War Veterans accompanied by two Canadian Veterans first decided to lay a wreath and say a prayer in honour of Canada's war dead.

Today, as part of the pilgrimage, the American motorcade made its way across the international Rainbow Bridge to the Queen Victoria Park Cenotaph, where American Veterans joined their Canadian comrades for a commemorative ceremony. Following the service, a reception took place at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 51.

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Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Veterans Affairs Canada

    Codie Taylor
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs

    Julie DiMambro
    Press Secretary
    Office of Minister Rob Nicholson