OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 17, 2011) - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today encouraged Veterans and their families to enjoy the outdoors this weekend by taking advantage of a special initiative celebrating Canada's proud military history.
As part of Parks Canada's 100th anniversary, the Government of Canada is offering Canada's military, Veterans and their families free admission to Parks Canada sites from August 19 to 21, 2011. Dubbed the "Fab Forts Weekend," access includes national historic sites, national parks and national marine conservation areas administered by Parks Canada.
"There are many historic sites, parks and buildings with heritage designations that are deeply rooted in significant military milestones in our history," said Minister Blaney. "The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site in Nova Scotia, the Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site in Victoria, British Columbia, and the Lévis Forts National Historic Site in Lévis, Quebec, are just a few that come to mind."
Veterans Affairs Canada works closely with Parks Canada and other federal agencies and departments to fulfill the nation's responsibility and commitment to honour and commemorate the contributions and sacrifices of those who served Canada during times of war, conflict, and peace. Minister Blaney encourages all Canadians to become involved in the act of remembrance and to commemorate the sacrifices and achievements of those who served—and continue to serve.
"Not only are military personnel, Veterans and their families encouraged to take advantage of this special promotion but I would like citizens—especially our youth—to come out and learn more about the people and events that helped to shape Canada as a nation. Interacting with Veterans and listening to their stories and experiences helps us to understand our history and where we came from," added Minister Blaney.
Earlier this month, Parks Canada announced that 38 of Canada's historic fortifications will celebrate Parks Canada's centennial with a "Fab Forts Weekend." Special activities include concerts, picnics, archaeology-related activities, markets, tours and much more. The highlight of the weekend will be a 100-gun salute that will ripple across the country from coast to coast on Sunday afternoon.
A complete list of participating sites and events across the country is available at www.parkscanada.gc.ca/fabforts. For more information on the programs and services offered by Veterans Affairs Canada, visit veterans.gc.ca.
Editor's Note: The text below is inscribed on the Veterans Monument, Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Canada. The Department of Veterans Affairs installed the plaque in 1985 to recognize the contribution of Canadians who died overseas during the World Wars. A similar plaque is on display in a national park in each province.
|"They will never know the beauty of this place,
|See the seasons change, enjoy nature's chorus.
|All we enjoy we owe to them, men and women who
|Lie buried in the earth of foreign lands and in
|the seven seas. Dedicated to the memory of
|Canadians who died overseas in the service of their
|country and so preserved our heritage."