Vet­er­ans Week 2017

The Drumheller Mail - - REMEMBRANCE DAY 2017 -

Vet­er­ans’ Week is a time when all Cana­di­ans re­mem­ber the men and women who have de­fended Canada and those who con­tinue to serve in our mil­i­tary to­day. On Re­mem­brance Day, Cana­di­ans come to­gether at memo­ri­als and ceno­taphs across our na­tion to hon­our our Vet­er­ans. We re­mem­ber their ex­cep­tional achieve­ments, their sac­ri­fice, and the con­tri­bu­tion they have made to Canada’s legacy. This year is the 150 an­niver­sary of Canada’s Con­fed­er­a­tion and the 100th an­niver­sary of the Bat­tle of Vimy Ridge where 10,000 Cana­di­ans were killed or wounded. The Bat­tle of Vimy Ridge was an ex­cep­tion­ally im­por­tant turn­ing point for Canada.

As Bri­gadier-Gen­eral A.E. Ross said, “in those few min­utes I wit­nessed the birth of a na­tion”. As much as the bat­tle has be­come sym­bolic in how it helped forge the na­tion we have to­day, we must never for­get the cost. More than 10,000 Cana­dian sol­diers were killed or wounded at Vimy Ridge. I wrote about Vimy Ridge in my April 12 Par­lia­men­tary Re­port (www.kevin­soren­son.ca).

Af­ter the Bat­tle for Vimy Ridge in April, the Cana­di­ans were sent to Bel­gium to re­lieve bat­tered Al­lied forces and take part in the fi­nal push to cap­ture Pass­chen­daele. The ter­rain and con­di­tions were shock­ing. From Oc­to­ber 6 to Novem­ber 6, 1917, mud, flat ter­rain (ex­pos­ing the troops to the en­emy), and the lack of prepa­ra­tion time and ar­tillery sup­port made the fight to lib­er­ate Pass­chen­daele for­mi­da­ble. 100,000 mem­bers of the Cana­dian Corps took part in the Bat­tle of Pass­chen­daele, where 4,000 Cana­dian sol­diers were killed and al­most 12,000 wounded. Nine Cana­dian sol­diers were awarded the Vic­to­ria Cross - the high­est award for mil­i­tary val­our a Cana­dian can earn. Learn more about these nine re­mark­able sto­ries at: Canada.ca/Canadare­mem­bers. 2017 is an im­por­tant year for Canada. Again, it marks the 150th An­niver­sary of our na­tion’s Con­fed­er­a­tion; the 100th An­niver­sary of the Bat­tle of Vimy Ridge where the world first learned of the con­tri­bu­tions Canada would be mak­ing to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity; and, the 100th An­niver­sary of the Bat­tle for Pass­chen­daele, where we sealed our rep­u­ta­tion and com­mit­ment to fight­ing for free­dom, democ­racy, and the rule of law. In World War I - 626,736 served 66,573 died; In World War II - 1,081,865 served 44,927 died; In the Korean War - 26,791 served 516 died and 1,558 were wounded;

In the Gulf War 4,074 served; and in Afghanistan (25,000 served on a ro­ta­tional ba­sis and 158 died). Re­mem­brance Day is a time to mourn and re­flect, but it is also a time to cel­e­brate the proud mil­i­tary tra­di­tions of our great coun­try. Cana­di­ans con­tinue to pro­tect and pro­mote the val­ues of free­dom, democ­racy and the rule of law in Canada and abroad.

Hon. Kevin Soren­son, M.P. Bat­tle River - Crow­foot Bat­tle River - Crow­foot Con­stituency Of­fice 4945 - 50 St., Cam­rose, AB T4V 1P9 Phone: 1-800-665-4358 Fax: 780-608-4603 e-mail: kevin.soren­son.c1@parl.gc.ca

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