Each year, from November 5 to 11, Canadians from coast to coast to coast mark Veterans’ Week. On November 11th, Canadians across the country gather together to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies.This year’s Remembrance Day marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War.
We know the final days of that conflict as “Canada’s Hundred Days,” a stretch of significant Canadian victories that helped end the war. In three months, the Canadian Corps advanced roughly 130 kilometres and took some 32,000 prisoners. By the conclusion of Canada’s Hundred Days, 30 Canadians and Newfoundlanders had earned the Victoria Cross.
During these last hundred days, Canadians rarely suffered less than 100 casualties a day. In total, the First World War cost approximately 61,000 brave young Canadians their lives, and 172,000 were wounded.
We must never forget the sacrifices of First World War Veterans, and of all Canadian Veterans. Whether during war or peacetime, Canadian soldiers have always stood ready to defend freedom, democracy and justice. Many have paid the ultimate price. Canadian cemeteries on many a foreign field are an eternal reminder of the risks they take and of the immense gratitude we owe them.
This Veterans’ Week and Remembrance Day, let us reflect on our freedoms and renew our determination to never forget the legacy and tremendous sacrifices of Canada’s Veterans.
Lest we forget.
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