Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

November 14, 2008 08:02 ET

Veterans Affairs Canada: Canadians Honour War Dead in Europe

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2008) - It was 90 years ago this week that the guns finally fell silent throughout Europe, marking the end of the First World War. As the Government of Canada delegation, led by the Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, retraces Canadians' steps through France and Belgium in honour of the men and women who served, it is clear participants with the delegation are not alone in their commitment to remember.

"Our contribution as a country has not been forgotten, and our sacrifice has never been taken for granted," said Minister Thompson. "As we follow the path of the Canadians in the First World War we are humbled by the respect, honour and genuine gratitude shown in community after community. We share a history of victory and loss, the tragedy of war and the hope of peace, and the commitment to remember."

Today, Canada and France paid special tribute to a lost Canadian soldier. The burial service for Private Ralph Tupper Ferns of the Royal Regiment of Canada was held this morning in Cintheaux, France. Private Ferns went missing on August 14, 1944 during the Second World War in Normandy and was discovered more than 60 years later near Haut-Mesnil. Today, he was provided with the proper burial service and final resting place that he deserves.

Over the past week, the members of the delegation which includes Veterans, representatives of Veterans' organizations and youth, have visited many historic sites relevant to Canadians in both the First World War and the Second World War. They visited the trenches of Vimy and walked the beaches of Normandy. They also visited various cemeteries where they saw the rows of white headstones that mark Canadian war dead, a sombre reminder of the cost of war.

"Our journey is about remembrance and more," added Minister Thompson. "It is about understanding how the First World War defined the Canada we know today-a nation strong, free and proud. A nation built on our enduring shared values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law-values our men and women in uniform continue to uphold on difficult missions in some of the world's most dangerous places."

For more information about the First World War, reports on the delegation's progress in France and Belgium or details on events in your area, visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site at

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Richard Roik
    Director of Communications