September 10, 2014 – Vancouver – Veterans Affairs Canada
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today announced a new national tribute to mark the 75th anniversary of Canada’s engagement in the Second World War and the extraordinary role Canadians played in the Allied victory. Beginning today, all living Canadian Veterans of the Second World War are eligible to receive a limited-edition commemorative lapel pin and a personalized certificate of recognition.
The first presentations will take place later today at ceremonies to be held in Halifax, Québec City, Ottawa, Edmonton and Vancouver.
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.
- The Second World War marked the first time Canada declared war of its own accord. Though Britain and France declared war on September 3, 1939, King George VI would not announce Canada’s entry until September 10, 1939, following approval during a special session of our country’s Parliament.
- 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.
- Canadians who served at least one day with the Canadian forces or with any other Allied force, including the Canadian or British Merchant Navy, either 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 (VAC) at 1-866-522-2122.
- Today’s ceremonies were held in conjunction with Canada’s World Wars Commemoration period, which was launched last month 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 on the Canada we enjoy today.
“As Canadians, we have a responsibility to reflect upon our country’s past, and remember those who served to protect the values that we cherish so dearly today. Our government is honoured to pay tribute to Canada’s Veterans of the Second World War by presenting them with these pins and certificates as symbols of our country’s enduring pride and gratitude.”
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs