MP Dreeshen Pays Tribute to Veterans of Second World War

January 20, 2015

January 20, 2015 – Red Deer - On behalf of the Honourable Erin O’Toole Minister of Veterans Affairs, Earl Dreeshen, Member of Parliament for Red Deer, today hosted a ceremony recognizing Canadian Veterans of the Second World War in honour of the 75th anniversary of Canada’s participation in the conflict.

Among their family, friends and community, local Second World War Veterans were presented with a commemorative lapel pin and certificate of recognition in honour of the extraordinary role Canadians played in the Allied victory.


Quick Facts

  • On September 10, 2014, to mark the 75th anniversary of Canada’s engagement in the Second World War, the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, announced a national tribute to honour living Veterans of the Second World War.
  • Canadians who served at least one day with Canadian forces, or with any other Allied force including the Canadian or British Merchant Navy, either at home or abroad, during the Second World War, are eligible to apply for the commemorative lapel pin and certificate. Request forms are available online at veterans.gc.ca, and by calling Veterans Affairs Canada at 1-866-522-2122.
  • With a population of some 11 million in 1939, Canada’s contribution to the Second World War was disproportionately large. From 1939 to 1945, more than one million Canadians and Newfoundlanders served, with more than 55,000 wounded and over 45,000 giving their lives.
  • It is estimated that there are approximately 80,000 Canadian Second World War Veterans alive today.
  • The design of the commemorative pin and the illustration on the certificate are based on the original “Victory Nickel” which features a flaming torch and a large ‘V’ standing both for victory and the coin’s denomination. The coin was originally in circulation from 1943 to 1945 and was re-issued in 2005 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.
  • Ceremonies are being held in conjunction with Canada’s World Wars Commemoration period, which was launched in August 2014 to mark the Centennial of the First World War. Between now and 2020, the Government of Canada will organize and support events and initiatives that pay homage to the many Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served during the World Wars, and will recognize the enduring legacy of these historical events. 


Associated Links


Backgrounder

Government of Canada Commemorates the 75th Anniversary of Canada’s Engagement in the Second World War 

The Second World War began on September 1, 1939, when Poland was invaded by Germany. Britain and France declared war on September 3, 1939. Following a special session of Parliament, Canada officially declared war when King George VI made the announcement on September 10. This marked the first time Canada declared war of its own accord. 

The struggle to defeat the Nazi and Fascist threat to civilization took six years, causing immense death and destruction. It was truly a world war, encircling the globe from the Atlantic to the Pacific and touching the far reaches of the Arctic. As a young nation, Canada’s involvement in the war effort was a remarkable achievement. From a country of some 11 million, more than one million Canadian and Newfoundland men and women served in the Second World War. By the end of the war, Canada had the third largest navy, the fourth largest air force and an army of six divisions. However, Canada’s losses were tremendous: more than 45,000 Canadian men and women gave their lives, and another 55,000 were wounded.

Second World War Commemorative Tribute

September 10, 2014 marks the 75th anniversary of Canada’s engagement in the Second World War. Through the coming years, the Government of Canada will mark significant anniversaries of the Second World War with commemorative events and activities in Canada and overseas. Throughout the World Wars Commemoration period, Canadians of all ages will join together to honour and show respect for the service and sacrifices of men and women of the Canadian military. Whether in Canada or on foreign soil, during the First or the Second World War, times of peace or recent conflicts, brave Canadians have fought to defend the values of peace, freedom and the rule of law wherever necessary. To mark the 75th anniversary of Canada’s engagement in the Second World War, the Government of Canada has announced a special tribute consisting of a commemorative lapel pin and certificate of recognition. Beginning September 10, 2014, all living Canadian Veterans of the Second World War may request the commemorative tribute. The estimated Second World War Veteran population is 80,000. 

Applications for the Second World War Commemorative Tribute are now available at veterans.gc.ca, or by calling Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) at 1-866-522-2212 or visiting any VAC or Service Canada office.